A seven-year-old girl died after the inflatable castle she was in was whisked across a park in Harlow, Essex by a sudden gust of wind on March 26. The post-mortem examination shows that Summer Grant, who just turned seven this January, suffered from multiple injuries.
The firm in charge of the inflatable castle was the family-owned Thurston fun fairs. Two people running the attraction, a 27-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman who are both from Cambridgeshire, were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence. However, they have been released on bail while the police make further inquiries.
Grant and family were on an Easter weekend trip when they gathered at the Town Park on the third day of an event. Unexpectedly, the 25-mile-per-hour winds blew the Toy Story-themed bouncy castle 500 feet (152.4 metres) downhill, with the girl trapped inside.
Emergency services rushed to the scene but despite medical interventions, Summer died in the hospital from her injuries. Many people have gathered to pay their respects, leaving flowers and teddy bears at the entrance of the Harlow Town Park, as well as donating to the Grant’s family online fundraiser that reached up to £2,000 (AU$3,763).
“It will be a complex and thorough investigation – I do not anticipate this to be a quick inquiry, it will be a lengthy investigation,” says Detective Inspector Daniel Stoten. “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.”
On behalf of Thurston fun fairs, Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain’s Ray Smith asserts, “I know the family and I am very confident they had staked it out properly. Everyone in the industry is feeling it and on behalf of the Guild. I would like to say that all our thoughts and prayers and with this little girl’s family.
The Great Parndon Community Association (GPCA), the fair’s organiser, has been contacted but no comment has been made yet.