Society

Girl, 7, Dies After Bouncy Castle Blows Away

| by Reve Fisher
Summer Grant, 7Summer Grant, 7

A young girl suffered several injuries and died after a fun fair attraction blew away.

The family of 7-year-old Summer Grant watched in horror as the inflatable castle she was playing in became un-tethered and blew away.

On March 26, a strong gust of wind lifted the Toy Story-themed castle approximately 500 feet downhill and across a row of vehicles parked in the vicinity, The Mirror reports. Summer was treated by emergency medical services but ultimately died at Princess Alexandra Hospital.

The attraction was part of an Easter fair in Harlow Town Park, Essex, England. Summer had been playing on the castle alone at the time. 

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"This is just devastating news," Terri Rickards, who was at the park that day with her two young children, wrote on Facebook following the incident, according to The Mirror. "We did not allow them on this bouncy castle as it just didn’t look safe. The winds were just far too strong! I can’t believe what I’m reading, such sad news."

Law enforcement from the Kent and Essex serious crime board have launched an investigation into the incident, and they said the analysis will be "complex and thorough." 

A 24-year-old woman and 27-year-man from Cambridgeshire were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence, The Guardian notes.

"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," D/Insp. Daniel Stoten of Essex Police said, according to The Mirror. "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."

Officers have also asked the public for information, including video footage of the event, The Guardian reports.

Although the family is devastated, they are thankful for the support they’ve been given.

"Words just can’t explain how I am feeling right now, life is just truly cruel," mother Cara Blackie said in a statement released by the Essex police. "Summer was a bright beautiful and most loving little girl it so unfair that you have been taken it just doesn’t make sense, I’m truly heartbroken."

A Just Giving page has also been established for the family, and it has raised over $4,500 as of March 28.

"I wanna truly thank everyone so much for helping my beautiful daughter have the send off she deserves love u all xxx," father Lee Grant wrote in response to the donations.

Sources: The Mirror, The Guardian, Just Giving / Photo Credit: Stephen Huntley, Facebook via The Mirror

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