A girl was killed when a bouncy castle she was playing in was swept up in 25-mile-per-hour gusts of wind.
The girl, Summer Grant from Norwich, was playing inside the Toy Story-themed castle during an Easter fair in Harlow, Essex. The castle was lifted up and blown 500 feet away, according to an article in The Guardian.Summer was on an Easter holiday trip to visit relatives, according to the Mirror. The family-owned event, Thurston Fun Fairs, was on the third day of its Easter festival.
Summer was playing alone in the bouncy structure around 4 p.m. when its cables were jerked free and it was lifted from the ground. Witnesses said that the family watched in horror as the castle was blown so high it sailed over a group of caravans and trailers parked nearby.
Onlookers rushed to the castle when it was finally hurled to the ground and collapsed. Emergency crews were called when 7-year-old Summer was found seriously injured. She was taken by ambulance to Princess Alexandria Hospital, where despite best efforts to save her, she later died.
Police have launched an investigation into how the accident could have happened.
A postmortem exam established the cause of death as multiple injuries.
Two attendees in charge of the castle, a 27-year-old man and 24-year-old woman, both from Cambridgeshire, were arrested under suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence. They were released on bail, with further inquiries pending.
Police plan to be diligent with the investigation, according to investigator Daniel Stoten.
"The weather will certainly make up part of this investigation – whether the weather was a factor and whether or not it was appropriate for the ride to be running.He added, "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 will be speaking to scientists in relation to the weight of the ride, the type of weather, the ground underfoot, the moisture content and how the ride was tethered."
Detectives from Kent and Essex' serious crime directorate have put out a call for videos in case anyone happened to capture the incident.
But Ray Smith, from the Showmen's Guild of Great Britain, thinks it was not an oversight or negligence so much as a terrible freak accident.
"It was a sudden gust. Had it been a consistent wind they would have closed down all the inflatables."When he was asked about how the bouncy houses were set up, Smith said, "I know the [Thurston] family and I am very confident they had staked it out properly. Obviously there is a full investigation to be held into how this could have happened and to make sure it can never ever happen again."
The community of Harlow is in shock and they are expressing their deepest condolences to Summer's family, leaving flowers, notes, and Easter baskets at the park entrance.
Seven-year-old girl killed on bouncy castle in Harlow named Summer Grant, Essex Police said https://t.co/6mwehMk7Xp pic.twitter.com/PYI3CqTMNiHarlow council leader Jon Clempner said on Sunday, "I can't imagine the heartache of the parents and family of the little girl who has died, and my thoughts are with them."
— ITV News (@itvnews) March 27, 2016
Summer's family has asked for privacy in the face of their grief.
Family 'devastated' after death of seven-year-old girl on bouncy castle in Essex https://t.co/6mwehMk7Xp pic.twitter.com/p1TLJp7KZa
— ITV News (@itvnews) March 27, 2016
Last year, three children were injured at the same park when a bouncy castle collapsed on them. They had to be treated by paramedics after the inflatable structure caved in.
[Image via Eric Kayne/Invision for Dr Pepper Snapple Group/AP Images]