Bouncy castles and inflatables should be banned after slide injured eight children

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Bouncy castles and inflatables should be banned in the wake of a slide collapse that injured eight children, a senior MP has said.Robert Halfon, a former minister and Conservative MP for Harlow, has called on the government to issue a temporary ban until regulations can be updated.His intervention comes after eight children fell from an inflatable slide at a fireworks display in Woking Park in Surrey on Saturday evening.Seven have since been discharged from hospital but one remained on Sunday for observation. However, police said the child’s injures were “not believed to be significant”.Mr Halfon’s intervention comes after a series of tragedies involving inflatable rides, raising questions over their safety.Earlier this year a three-year-old girl died after being thrown from an inflatable trampoline in Norfolk, and in 2016 a seven-year-old girl died after a bouncy castle broke free in high winds in Harlow.Mr Halfon told BBC 5Live: “I reiterate my urge to the government that they should have a temporary ban on inflatables and bouncy castles in public places until all the regulations we know have been updated. Robert Halfon, a former minister and Conservative MP for Harlow Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “Twenty injures since 2011, we’ve had two tragic deaths – the time for just looking at it is over. “The government have got to have possibly a temporary ban on these things until we know for sure that they’re safe and no parent has to ever worry again”.The park was evacuated shortly after the incident on Saturday and a major incident declared by Surrey police.A helicopter and several ambulances attended that evening and on Sunday the funfair remained under police cordon as the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) began its investigation.One witness said he was concerned earlier that evening when he saw dozens of children playing on the “flimsy” slide at once.Andy Datson, 23, said he saw up to 40 children playing on the slide, which he estimated was about 30ft tall at its highest point.”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.” Just one child remains in hospitalCredit:Andrew Matthews/PA Robert Halfon, a former minister and Conservative MP for HarlowCredit:Julian Simmonds Just one child remains in hospital David Munro, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey, said the incident “could have been so much worse” and that inflatable experts would be attending the scene.He said: “We will not just be looking at the incident itself, but also the events leading up to it. A HSE spokesman said: “HSE is aware of the incident and inspectors are attending the site to support the police.”   “Was it down to the ride safety precautions or too many people on the ride?”Michael Holden, of Woking District Rotary Club, who organised the event, estimated around 5,000 people were in the park when it happened.He said: “We don’t still know yet what exactly happened but eight children appear to have come off near the top of the slide and landed on the floor alongside it.”We have used this funfair operator for a number of years. We have never had any problems before. [The operator] is as upset as we are.””We are very shocked and distressed by the whole thing.”Joe Mercer, general secretary of the Showmen’s Guild, told the BBC: “This slide has up-to-date test certificates and insurance documents, these have been provided to police. “Our members are fully co-operating with the authorities; no arrests have been made.”In a statement issued on Sunday, Surrey police said: “Following last night’s evacuation of Woking Park after children fell from an inflatable slide, we are pleased to update that seven of the eight victims were discharged overnight.“The eighth victim was kept in overnight for observations, but his injuries are not thought to be significant.“The investigation will now sit with the Health and Safety Executive.”

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