Mum whose daughter, 12, broke pelvis on Woking fireworks slide calls for better safety – and an MP even wants all inflatables banned

Donia Echouafni's daughter Nadine was one of eight children injured when the 30ft funfair slide collapsed at a fireworks display in Surrey on Saturday night.

The 12-year-old remain in hospital with a broken pelvis while the other seven kids, all aged under 16, were discharged.

Ms Echouafni described seeing a "sea of children" crying as she rushed to find her daughter, who was on the ground screaming.

She told ITV News: "I don't want to be the killer of joy and say that we should eliminate everything and go health and safety mad, but I don't want another child to go through this," she said.

"It was a traumatic event for adults, let alone children.


"To see what looked like a sea of children lying down on the ground screaming and unable to move is something that no child should ever witness."

Guidelines say no more than 12 people should be allowed on an inflatable that big at any one time, however one witness said up to 40 kids were on the "flimsy" slide when it collapsed.

Robert Halfon – the Conservative MP for Harlow and former Minister of State for Education – said that the government should put a temporary ban in place across Britain.

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.


"Twenty injuries 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 funfair was under police cordon on Sunday and the collapsed slide had been completely deflated.

John Edwards, of Edwards Amusements, the agent who hired the slide, insisted the slide wasn't overcrowded when it collapsed at around 7.30pm on Saturday evening.



He said the children fell from half-way up the slide, a height of about 10-12ft.

Fireworks organiser Michael Holden believed they had fallen from near the top of the slide.

Mr Holden, of Woking District Rotary, estimated around 5,000 people were in the park when it happened, said the circumstances around how the children were injured remain unclear.

"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," he said.

Mr Holden said: "It looks to be to do with the way the ride was being operated.

"I can't comment anymore than that because we simply don't know at the moment.

"But I don't think there was any issue around crowding in the park itself."

Tickets for the event cost £5 for adults and £3 for children.

But, despite the severity of the casualties, some people requested refunds. They have since removed the posts following a backlash on social media.



 

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