Child killed after being thrown from bouncy castle on Gorleston beach
PUBLISHED: 06:53 02 July 2018 | UPDATED: 14:47 04 July 2018
Archant Norfolk 2018
A young girl has died after she was thrown from a bouncy castle on Gorleston beach.
Police were called to Lower Esplanade at Gorleston at around 11.15am on Sunday following reports a child had been thrown from a bouncy castle. The East of England Ambulance service received more than a dozen calls in relation to the incident.
The young girl was taken to the James Paget Hospital but died.
Next of kin have been informed and are being supported by specialist officers.
At the beach a police cordon is in place around the fencing that surrounds the ‘Bounce About’ children’s area. No one is being permitted to use any of the facilities.
The rest of the beach remains open to members of the public and none of the roads in the surrounding area are closed.
One witness reported seeing the bouncy castle “explode” and another said the victim was “catapulted” into the air. Both described what they saw as “horrific”.
A Gorleston resident, who preferred not to be named, said: “I didn’t see what happened but heard a loud bang, and then saw a commotion and people running away. Whatever happened it looks like something very sad.”
Emma Flaxman-Taylor, Great Yarmouth Borough councillor for the Gorleston ward, said: “At this moment in time all I can do is express my condolences to the girl’s family.”
Brandon Lewis, Conservative MP for Great Yarmouth, tweeted: “Absolutely tragic, thoughts are with family & friends, just so sad.”
A joint investigation between the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), local authority and police has been launched to establish the circumstances surrounding the incident.
The incident is the latest in which a fun day out with giant inflatables has turned to tragedy.
Married fairground workers William Thurston, 29, and Shelby Thurston, 26 - who were responsible for the “entirely preventable” death of seven-year-old Summer Grant, from Hellesdon, who was blown away in a bouncy castle they did not properly secure - were jailed for three years in June.
The Valley Primary Academy pupil was killed after a gust of wind lifted the inflatable from its moorings and sent it “cartwheeling” 300 metres down a hill at an Easter fair in Harlow, Essex, a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court had heard.
The couple, of Whitecross Road, Wilburton, near Ely, Cambridgeshire, were both found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence and of a health and safety offence following the incident on March 26 2016.