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MP calls for bouncy castle ban after Gorleston beach death

PUBLISHED: 22:03 01 July 2018 | UPDATED: 14:50 04 July 2018

Police cordon around the Bounce About play area at Gorleston beach.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Police cordon around the Bounce About play area at Gorleston beach. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

An Essex MP has called for a temporary ban on bouncy castles in public places after the death of a young girl at Gorleston beach yesterday (Sunday).

Robert Halfon. Photo: John Stillwell/PA WireRobert Halfon. Photo: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Robert Halfon, MP for Harlow where Norwich schoolgirl Summer Grant died in a bouncy castle tragedy in 2016, tweeted: “After two horrific tragedies, Government need[s] to look at [an] update of regulations and inspection regime and consider a temporary ban on bouncy castles in public areas until we can be sure that they are safe.”

He also said he had asked for an urgent question to be considered on the matter in the House of Commons today (Monday).

Just two weeks ago Shelby and Will Thurston were both found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence after they failed to secure a bouncy castle Summer, from Hellesdon, was inside of.

It was blown 300 metres down a hill and hit a tree.

Seven-year-old Summer Grant, from Hellesdon, died from multiple injuries when a bouncy castle she was playing on blew away at a park in Harlow, Essex, on March 26 2016.
Photo: supplied by Scala
Seven-year-old Summer Grant, from Hellesdon, died from multiple injuries when a bouncy castle she was playing on blew away at a park in Harlow, Essex, on March 26 2016. Photo: supplied by Scala

While there has been no suggestion of similar circumstances in the Gorleston incident, Summer’s grandmother wrote on Rachel Chamberlain wrote on this newspaper’s Facebook page: “It’s only two weeks ago that the people responsible for my granddaughter Summer’s death were jailed and I hoped with all my heart that this would never happen again! Things must change! My heart bleeds for this family, devastating!”

Investigations are ongoing tonight into the tragedy at Gorleston beach, where a young girl was thrown from a bouncy castle.

Police were called to Lower Esplanade at Gorleston at around 11.15am and 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 later died.

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.”

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