Girl dies after bouncy castle ‘explodes’ on beach

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By Sallyann Nicholls  & Alice Cuddy
Gorleston-on-Sea   -   Copyright  Flickr/houghtonbirds

A young girl has died after the bouncy castle she was playing on "exploded", according to witnesses on a beach in Norfolk in eastern England.

Paramedics received over a dozen calls on Sunday morning and were on the scene in four minutes, but the child went into cardiac arrest and could not be saved.

The family is being supported by specialist officers.

An East of England Ambulance Service Trust spokeswoman said: "We would like to thank everyone who rushed to respond to the young patient and did everything possible to give her treatment and care. Our thoughts are with the family at this time."

Police cordoned off a children’s play area on Gorleston beach where people had been basking in the hot weather. The rest of the beach remains open to the public.

According to the local Eastern Daily Press (EDP), a witness reported seeing the inflatable “explode” while another said the victim had been “catapulted” into the air. Both described the incident as “horrific”.

A Gorleston seafront shop owner, who asked not to be named, told the EDP: “I didn’t see what happened but I heard a loud bang and then saw a commotion, and people running away.”

A joint investigation into the cause of the incident has been launched between the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), local authority and police.

The tragedy comes after two fairground were jailed for three years in Essex, southern England, in June after a seven-year-old girl was blown away in an unsecured bouncy castle and killed.

MP Robert Halfon called on the government to consider a temporary ban on bouncy castles in public areas "until we can be sure they are safe." 

He announced on Twitter that he has written to the speaker of the House of Commons requesting an urgent question on the matter on Monday.