Inflatable slide collapses: Eight children injured, Report
Inflatable slide collapses: Eight children injured, Report

Eight children have been treated for injuries after an inflatable slide collapsed at a fireworks funfair.

Surrey Police declared a “major incident” at Woking Fireworks after multiple children fell from the “giant inflatable slide” at about 7.30pm on Saturday.

The air ambulance helped transport patients to “major trauma centres” after the incident in Woking Park on Saturday evening, South East Coast Ambulance Service (Secamb) said.

On Sunday, police confirmed the injuries were not serious and seven children had been discharged – though one child is being kept in for observation.

One witness said he was concerned earlier Saturday evening when he saw up to 40 children playing on the “flimsy” slide at once.

Andy Datson, 23, said he saw up to 40 children playing on slide, which he estimated was about 30-foot tall at its highest.

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“We had been walking past the slide earlier in the night and said it looked unsafe. It looked pretty flimsy to say the least,” he said.

“There were far too many kids on it. It didn’t look like it could hold that many people.”

Chief inspector Steve Schulten confirmed a “number of children” had fallen from the slide and suffered injuries.

Eight children were taken to hospital by South East Coast Ambulance Service with potentially serious injuries.

He added the Health and Safety Executive has been informed of the incident.

Secamb had “multiple crews” at the scene of the “significant incident”.

The patients were transported to “major trauma centres” in London with the help of the air ambulance before largely being released overnight.

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Eyewitness Mr Datson, who lives in Guildford, Surrey, said he noticed the flashing lights of ambulances after walking off with friends.

“I immediately thought that’s going to be the slide,” he said.

“It looked like there were too many children on it and the side area had given way.

“If, heaven forbid, they fell from the top I would say it’s at least 25 to 30 feet tall.”

Local musician Anna Neale said she was among the hundreds of people who evacuated the park, which had been packed with families with young children.

The 36-year-old said: “We saw all the blue lights and saw the air ambulance arriving. We all evacuated very calmly. Everyone was just shocked.”

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She had planned to take her daughters, aged 10 and six, on the giant slide after the fireworks.

She said: “I am very grateful my children didn’t go on it, let’s just put it that way.”

Woking District Rotary Club, the event’s organisers, said it was “shocked and distressed” by the collapse.

The park will remain closed into Sunday as police investigate the cause of the incident, the club added.

A Health and Safety Executive spokeswoman said “initial enquiries” were being made.

A Woking Borough Council spokesman said: “We will be working with the police and relevant authorities to understand and explain what happened.”

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