Norfolk

Norfolk beach death prompts call for bouncy castle ban

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionWitnesses said the inflatable exploded and threw the girl into the air

Bouncy castles and inflatables should be temporarily banned in public areas after a child died, an MP has said.

The three-year-old girl was thrown from an inflatable trampoline at Gorleston beach, Norfolk on Sunday, and died later in hospital of her injuries.

In 2016 a seven-year-old girl died after a bouncy castle broke free in high winds from its moorings in Harlow.

The town's MP Robert Halfon wants an "urgent investigation" into the regulation of inflatables.

Image caption A girl, aged three, was thrown off the blue bouncy trampoline, pictured to the right

Mr Halfon said: "There should be a temporary ban on bouncy castles and inflatables in public areas until we can ensure they are safe.

"These are two tragic deaths of two beautiful little children in the space of a few years and there needs to be an urgent investigation in the regulation and inspection regimes.

"You cannot risk a tragedy like this happening again."

The girl from Suffolk was visiting the beach with her family, police said.

It is understood she had been using an inflatable trampoline, which was part of a wider complex of children's play equipment on Lower Esplanade.

Bouncy castles: What are the rules on safety?

Zoe Dye, 32, from Bradwell, was digging a hole in the sand with her 11-year-old daughter at the time.

"We heard this massive explosion," she said.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionGorleston beach death: "People were trying to catch her"

"She asked me if it was a bomb. Before I could say anything we both looked and there was a little girl about 20 feet in the air.

"I covered her eyes for the landing, I just held her really tight. It was horrific."

Image caption People have been leaving tributes to the girl on the beach

The owner of the play equipment Curt Johnson said: "We are in complete shock and send our deepest condolences to the family.

"We are in bits and totally devastated, we can't sleep, can't eat, feel sick to the core."

Supt Roger Wiltshire, of Norfolk Police, said it was too early to speculate whether the hot weather was behind the explosion.

"We've got experts from all around the country coming to help us with all aspects of this investigation," he said.

You may also be interested in:

The Health and Safety Executive said it would be providing "specialist assistance" to the investigation, which is being led by the police and Great Yarmouth Borough Council.

Bounce About is registered with the play equipment inspectors PIPA which provides a database of tested inflatable equipment.

The organisation would not confirm when the inflatable trampoline had last been inspected.

"It would be inappropriate to comment until the facts of this tragic incident are known," it said, adding it was offering its full support to the Health and Safety Executive, police and other authorities in their investigations.

The local authority said as a "precautionary measure" it would be carrying out checks of all inflatable play equipment on its beaches.

A post-mortem examination to establish the girl's cause of death is due to be carried out later.

In June, two fairground workers were jailed for manslaughter by gross negligence after a bouncy castle blew away with seven-year-old Summer Grant inside, in Essex in March 2016.

Image caption The girl was in cardiac arrest when paramedics arrived
Image copyright PA
Image caption The beach was busy with people enjoying the good weather

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites