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MP calls for temporary ban on bouncy castles after girl’s death

Conservative MP Robert Halfon wants to raise the matter in Parliament on Monday.

Bouncy castles in public areas should be temporarily banned following the death of a young girl thrown from a seaside inflatable, an MP said.

Lifeboat crews and nearby witnesses battled in vain to save the “seriously injured” youngster, after the incident on the beach at Gorleston-on-Sea, Norfolk, on Sunday morning.

According to some eyewitness accounts the inflatable trampoline exploded, flinging the girl into the air.

She later died in the James Paget Hospital.

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The scene on Gorleston beach in Norfolk, on Sunday afternoon (Joe Giddens/PA)

Robert Halfon, the Conservative MP for Harlow, Essex – where seven-year-old Summer Grant was killed when a bouncy castle blew free from its moorings in 2016 – wants politicians to consider a temporary ban.

He tweeted on Sunday evening: “After two horrific tragedies, Government need to look at update of regulations and inspection regime and consider a temporary ban on bouncy castles in public areas until we can be sure that they are safe.”

Mr Halfon has written to the speaker of the House of Commons requesting an urgent question on the matter on Monday.

Officers were called to Lower Esplanade, Gorleston-on-Sea, at about 11.15am on Sunday, Norfolk Constabulary said.

Witness Sarah Allard told Sky News she heard a loud bang as the bouncy castle “exploded”, throwing the girl in the air.

The East of England Ambulance Service said it received more than a dozen calls just after 11am.

A spokeswoman said: “The young female was seriously injured and in cardiac arrest on our arrival, and was conveyed to James Paget Hospital. Sadly, despite all of the efforts and interventions, she was pronounced deceased.

“We would like to thank everyone who rushed to respond to the young patient, and did everything possible to give her treatment and care.”

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Deflated play equipment can be seen in the area cordoned off by police (Joe Giddens/PA)

Images of the scene showed an area of the beach, with what appeared to be crumpled canvas and abandoned deck chairs, cordoned off by police.

Uniformed officers stood guard by the fenced off area, while others in the background continued to enjoy the seafront on the sunny afternoon.

Brandon Lewis, Conservative MP for Great Yarmouth, tweeted: “Absolutely tragic, thoughts are with family & friends, just so sad.”

A joint investigation between the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), local authority and police has been launched.

The incident is the latest in which a fun day out with giant inflatables has turned to tragedy.

Summer Grant was killed after a bouncy castle that had not been properly secured to the ground blew away at an Easter fair in Harlow, Essex, a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court heard.

Married fairground workers William Thurston, 29, and Shelby Thurston, 26, were jailed for three years in June after they were both found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence and of a health and safety offence.

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Summer Grant, who died when a bouncy castle blew away with her inside in 2016 (Family handout/PA)

An inquest jury in May 2010 ruled the deaths of two County Durham women, who were killed when an inflatable artwork blew away, were accidental.

Elizabeth Anne Collings, 68, and Claire Furmedge, 38, died after the Dreamspace artwork blew free in Chester-le-Street in July 2006.

The huge walk-in structure – half the size of a football pitch – took off in a gust of wind with 20 visitors inside.

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