Eight chil­dren hurt in fall from in­flat­able slide

The Sunday Telegraph - - News - By Jamie Mer­rill

EIGHT chil­dren were in­jured last night af­ter fall­ing from an in­flat­able slide at a fire­works dis­play.

Emer­gency ser­vices de­clared a “sig­nif­i­cant in­ci­dent” at the event at Wok­ing Park, Sur­rey, af­ter the at­trac­tion was re­ported to have col­lapsed, re­sult­ing in sev­eral chil­dren be­ing taken to ma­jor trauma cen­tres.

Some of the in­jured were trans­ported to hospi­tal by air am­bu­lance, and last night sev­eral were un­der­stood to be in a se­ri­ous con­di­tion with a mix­ture of spinal and neck in­juries, as well as bro­ken arms and legs.

The event was aban­doned as thou­sands of spec­ta­tors were evac­u­ated from the site to al­low the air am­bu­lance to land. Wit­nesses said they heard “hor­ri­ble screams” and saw emer­gency staff treat­ing pa­tients.

Oliver Trim­ble, 27, a pro­ducer from Wok­ing, told The

Sun­day Tele­graph he wit­nessed the af­ter­math as he was be­ing evac­u­ated. “We were evac­u­ated via the fun­fair and I did see a lot peo­ple in­jured.

“We were told by sup­port staff that a man had fallen [from the in­flat­able slide] and that sev­eral peo­ple were in­jured. We could see them be­ing treated by emer­gency ser­vices. There were some re­ally hor­ri­ble screams from a younger per­son, who was clearly in a lot of pain.”

Ini­tial re­ports sug­gested a hel­ter skel­ter had col­lapsed, but po­lice later clar­i­fied it was an in­flat­able slide. Wit­nesses said the in­ci­dent oc­curred around 7.50pm, just be­fore the fire­works in a dif­fer­ent area of the park.

Mr Trim­ble added that the evac­u­a­tion had been car­ried out “smoothly”, and that the air am­bu­lance had cir­cled over­head for around 10 min­utes as staff cleared the park.

Anna Neale, 36, a lo­cal mu­si­cian, said 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. I hope ev­ery­one is OK.”

Andy Dat­son, 23, said he saw am­bu­lances, “a lot of wor­ried peo­ple” and what ap­peared to be chil­dren on the ground. “If, heaven for­bid, they fell from the top I would say it’s at least 25-30ft tall,” he said.

A state­ment from Sur­rey Po­lice said: “A num­ber of chil­dren fell from the slide and were in­jured. Eight chil­dren have been taken to hospi­tal by South East Coast Am­bu­lance Ser­vice with po­ten­tially se­ri­ous in­juries.”

A Health and Safety Ex­ec­u­tive spokesman said that “ini­tial en­quiries” were be­ing made.

Emer­gency ser­vices at­tend to the in­jured af­ter the in­ci­dent

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