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Arrests follow bouncy castle tragedy.

A man and a woman were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence after a seven-year-old girl died after the bouncy castle she was playing on blew away in strong winds.

Paramedics were called to Thurston fun fair, Harlow Town Park, Essex, after the incident in which the girl, from Norwich, later died in hospital.

The dome-shaped inflatable carrying the girl is understood to have blown over several trailers and caravans in the park and landed down a hill.

East of England Ambulance Service said the girl suffered serious injuries. She was treated by ambulance crews and Essex and Herts Air Ambulance before being taken to the Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow.

After the incident a Showmans Guild of Great Britain representative, Ray Smith, said: "It was a sudden gust. Had it been a consistent wind they would have closed down all the inflatables.

"I know the Thurston family and am confident they had staked it out properly. Obviously there is to be a full investigation into how this could have happened and to make sure it can never ever happen again."

The arrested pair, from Cambridgeshire, are understood to be from the family-run bouncy castle firm.

Det Insp Daniel Stoten, of the Kent and Essex serious crime directorate, said: "This is a very tragic incident. The weather will certainly make up part of this investigation, whether it was a factor and whether it was appropriate for the ride to be running.

"It will be a complex and thorough investigation. I do not anticipate this to be a quick inquiry, it will be a lengthy investigation. We are trying to establish the circumstances surrounding how the girl came to be injured and I urge anyone who was at the event and witnessed the incident to contact me."

The Health and Safety Executive was assisting police with the investigation.

A bouncy castle also collapsed while children were playing on it during a fair in the same park in 2015.

After that incident, Harlow Council officials visited the site and suggested a number of health and safety improvements, including better stewarding of the event.

After the latest incident, Conservative MP for Harlow, Robert Halfon, said that he would be asking for an urgent inquiry “to consider whether bouncy castles should be banned from Harlow town fairs, until we can be sure that they are completely safe, so such a horrific tragedy never happens again.”

 

 

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