Woking fireworks: What happens next as investigation launched into inflatable slide accident
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has launched an investigation into the collapse of an inflatable slide at a fireworks funfair, which left several children in hospital.
Surrey Police has since announced that seven children have been discharged but one remains in hospital.
The planned fireworks display was cancelled and people were evacuated from Woking Park following the incident.
Police confirmed on Monday (November 5) that no arrests have been made in connection with the accident, which means it is not currently being treated as a criminal manner.
However, the force said the investigation had been passed to the HSE – a government agency responsible for the regulation and enforcement of workplace welfare.
The HSE confirmed it “is aware of the incident and investigating”.
Following its investigation, the HSE can take a number of enforcement actions to ensure those responsible for the safety of the event are held to account if they are found to have failed in their duties.
Investigation will be taken ‘very seriously’
These actions include serving notices, withdrawing approvals, issuing simple cautions and prosecution.
The HSE will determine who had overall responsibility for health and safety during the fireworks funfair event.
An HSE spokesman said: “Determining who is responsible is part of our ongoing investigation so it is too early for us to provide information on this.”
Woking District Rotary Club, which helped organise the event, previously said it was “shocked and distressed” by the incident and would meet to “agree next steps”.
Speaking to Surrey Live on Sunday (November 4), Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner David Munro promised the investigation into the accident would be taken “very seriously”.
“I have just been speaking to Surrey Police’s Scenes of Crime Officer and also to the HSE,” he said.
“There’s a big investigation now swinging into action as I speak, waiting for an expert on these matters to come in and lead the investigation.
“I guess it will take some time but I promise you it will be taken very, very seriously.
“We can’t have this sort of thing. The public rightly expect their fairgrounds to be absolutely safe and so there is a big investigation going on as to what went wrong.”
Prime Minister Theresa May has already faced demands to introduce a temporary ban on bouncy castles in public spaces after the deaths of two girls in separate incidents involving inflatables.
In July, three-year-old Ava-May Littleboy died in hospital after she was thrown from an inflatable trampoline on a beach in Norfolk.
It followed the death of seven-year-old Summer Grant, who was blown away on a bouncy castle at a fair in Essex, in March 2016.
Fairground workers William and Shelby Thurston, both in their 20s, were found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence and jailed for three years in June over Summer’s death.
To find out more about the HSE, visit their website here.
If you are the parent of a child injured during the incident at Woking Park then please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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