Girl, 7, dies as bouncy castle blown away by gust of wind

Flowers are left at the entrance to the fun fair where seven-year-old Summer Grant was killed when a bouncy castle blew away. Picture: Hemedia
Flowers are left at the entrance to the fun fair where seven-year-old Summer Grant was killed when a bouncy castle blew away. Picture: Hemedia
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A seven-year-old girl died after she was blown around 150 metres on a bouncy castle which is thought to have been swept away by a sudden gust of wind at an Easter fair.

Last night the police named the dead girl as Summer Grant from Norwich. A police spokesman also said that the post-mortem examination had established the cause of death as multiple injuries.

Police said a “lengthy” investigation was under way to examine how the structure lifted off the ground, killing Summer who was playing inside.

Two people have been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence.

Emergency services were called to Harlow Town Park in Essex shortly after 4pm on Saturday to reports that a girl had been seriously injured when the bouncy castle she was on blew “some distance” away.

Summer was treated by ambulance crews and taken to Princess Alexandra Hospital, where she later died.

A representative for the organisers said a sudden gust of wind blew the dome-shaped inflatable over a number of trailers and caravans on the site as horrified families looked on. Police said weather conditions on the day will be a factor in their investigations.

Detective Inspector Daniel Stoten said: “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.

“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.”

Ray Smith, from the Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain, said: “It was a sudden gust. Had it been a consistent wind they would have closed down all the inflatables.”

Asked about how the inflatables are set up he said: “I know the family and I am very confident they had staked it out properly. Obviously there is a full investigation to be held to make sure it can never ever happen again.”

A 27-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman, both from Cambridgeshire and understood to have been working for the family-run bouncy castle firm at the fair, have been arrested.

Last year a bouncy castle collapsed while children were playing on it during a funfair in the same park. It was reported at the time that three children had to be treated by paramedics when the inflatable castle collapsed on them.

The fair has closed but people visited the scene yesterday to pay their respects to Summer. Among the tributes was a card on a bunch of flowers which read: “God has taken a beautiful girl for his angel. RIP Princess.”

Detectives from the Kent and Essex serious crime directorate have appealed for anyone with video footage of what happened to contact them.

Councillor Jon Clempner, leader of Harlow Council, said: “Harlow is a town in shock following this tragic incident.”

He said the council will work with all those involved, including the Great Parndon Community Association, which organised the fair, in the investigations to find out what ­happened.