WATCH: ‘It’s an unspeakable tragedy’ - Experts from across country join inflatable death investigation
PUBLISHED: 14:47 02 July 2018 | UPDATED: 16:00 02 July 2018
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Experts are travelling from across the country as investigations into the death of a girl on an inflatable in Gorleston continue.
The joint investigation is being coordinated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), local authority and police, who were called to the Lower Esplanade at around 11.15am yesterday following reports a girl had been thrown from inflatable.
The girl was taken to the James Paget University Hospital but died from her injuries.
Police have now confirmed that the girl was a three-year-old from the Suffolk area.
Great Yarmouth superintendent Roger Wiltshire said experts were travelling from across the country to assist the investigation.
He said: “First of all we’re going to have to have the equipment examined to see different aspects of it, the inflatable bits, the electrical bits etc.
“That’s why we need different people to look at those different aspects.
“We’ve got experts from all around the country coming to help us with all aspects of this investigation.
“Once that’s done we will try to ascertain what went wrong on this particular occasion and take it forward from there.”
Supt Wiltshire explained that the inflatable trampoline was slightly different to a bouncy castle.
He said: “My understanding is a bouncy castle is quite a big piece of equipment made for numerous people and you pump air into it and it leaks out, which allows you to bounce on it.
“This I understand is a piece of equipment that is pumped up and you bounce on it when it is pumped up, so it is slightly different from what most people would understand as a bouncy castle.
“I haven’t seen it but my understanding is it has a frame around it and it is for one person at a time.”
As for whether parents should allow their children to use such equipment, Supt Wiltshire said parents must decide for themselves.
He said: “It’s a decision for individual parents. There are thousands of pieces of inflatable equipment across the county, they come out for fairs and school fetes, and parents have to make their own decisions.”
On behalf of the police, Supt Wiltshire offered his condolences to the family and asked for witness to come forwards.
He said: “We have had some people come forward with pictures and video and I would just like to encourage anybody who was there who took pictures or video to please let us know. Even if you think there might be nothing on there it might be of interest to us.
“I’ve dealt with a number of tragedies. I’ve worked in Norfolk through my entire 28 years in service and I’ve never known anything like this.
“My most sincere condolences go to the family from me and my officers. I’m a father of three and I’ve got no idea what the family are going through, it’s an unspeakable tragedy.”
Any witnesses who have not yet spoken to the police or anyone who may have captured the incident on their phone or camera is encouraged to call Norfolk Police on 101.
Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via their anonymous online form at crimestoppers-uk.org
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