Six chil­dren suf­fer ‘po­ten­tially se­ri­ous’ in­juries in slide col­lapse

The Herald on Sunday - - NEWS -

SIX chil­dren were be­ing treated for “po­ten­tially se­ri­ous in­juries” af­ter an in­flat­able slide is be­lieved to have col­lapsed at a fire­works fun­fair.

Sur­rey Po­lice said Wok­ing Park was evac­u­ated as medics, in­clud­ing an air am­bu­lance crew, treated a to­tal of seven pa­tients on Satur­day.

The force ini­tially said it was a col­lapse of a hel­ter skel­ter at the fair­ground, but the lat­est in­for­ma­tion said it was a gi­ant in­flat­able slide.

One wit­ness said he had been con­cerned ear­lier that night when he saw up to 40 chil­dren play­ing on the “flimsy” slide at once.

South East Coast Am­bu­lance Ser­vice said it had “mul­ti­ple crews” at the scene of the “sig­nif­i­cant in­ci­dent” at Wok­ing Fire­works.

“Our clin­i­cians have treated six chil­dren on scene for po­ten­tially se­ri­ous in­juries,” SECamb said in a state­ment.

The pa­tients were be­ing trans­ported to “ma­jor trauma cen­tres” in Lon­don with the help of the air am­bu­lance, the state­ment added.

Andy Dat­son, 23, said he saw up to 40 chil­dren play­ing on slide, which he es­ti­mated was up to 30 feet tall.

“We had been walk­ing past the slide ear­lier and said it looked un­safe. It looked pretty flimsy to say the least,” he said. “There were far too many kids on it. It didn’t look like it could hold that many peo­ple.”

The jour­nal­ist, who lives in Guild­ford, Sur­rey, said that he no­ticed the flash­ing lights of am­bu­lances af­ter walk­ing off with friends.

“I im­me­di­ately thought that’s the slide,” he said. “It looked like there were too many chil­dren on it and the side area had given way.

“If, heaven for­bid, they fell from the top I would say it’s at least 25 to 30ft down.”

Mu­si­cian Anna Neale said she was among the hun­dreds of peo­ple who evac­u­ated the park, which had been packed with fam­i­lies.

The 36-year-old said: “We saw all the blue lights and saw the air am­bu­lance ar­riv­ing. We all evac­u­ated very calmly. Ev­ery­one was just shocked.”

She had planned to take her daugh­ters, aged 10 and six, on the slide af­ter the fire­works.

She said: “I am very grate­ful my chil­dren didn’t go on it, let’s just put it that way.”

Wok­ing Dis­trict Ro­tary Club, the event’s or­gan­is­ers, said it was “shocked and dis­tressed” by the col­lapse.

“We are fo­cus­ing in as­sist­ing the emer­gency ser­vices in deal­ing with the in­jured chil­dren,” a state­ment added. “Our thoughts are with the chil­dren and their fam­i­lies at the mo­ment.”

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