An investigation is underway after an inflatable slide at a fireworks funfair collapsed, hospitalising eight children.
The children were rushed to hospital after the “giant inflatable slide” collapsed at a firework display in Woking, Surrey, on Saturday evening.
Surrey Police declared a “major incident” at Woking Fireworks after multiple children fell from the slide at about 7.30pm on Saturday. They were taken to “major trauma centres” by the South Easy Coast Ambulance Service, helped by the air ambulance.
On Sunday, Surrey Police said seven of the eight children involved – all under 16 – had been discharged from hospital, while another boy was kept in for overnight observations but suffered injuries “not thought to be significant”.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive is now underway.
In a statement on Sunday, Surrey Police said: “Following last night’s evacuation of Woking Park after children fell from an inflatable slide during fireworks night celebrations, we are pleased to update that seven of the eight victims were discharged overnight.
“The eighth victim was kept in overnight for observations, but his injuries are not thought to be significant. The investigation will now sit with the Health and Safety Executive.”
Police have appealed for anyone with footage of what happened to contact them.
Fireworks organiser Michael Holden, of Woking District Rotary, said it appeared the children had fallen to the ground from the top of the slide.
Mr Holden, who estimated around 5,000 people were in the park when it happened, said: “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.”
The funfair remained under police cordon on Sunday and the collapsed slide had been completely deflated.
Police investigators with cameras inspected other attractions, including the crooked house and the Ferris wheel, while HSE inspectors were also in attendance.
Witness Andy Datson, 23, told how he had seen up to 40 children playing on the slide, which he estimated was about 30-foot tall, before its collapse.
“We had been walking past the slide earlier in the night and said it looked unsafe. It looked pretty flimsy to say the least,” he said.
“There were far too many kids on it. It didn’t look like it could hold that many people.”
He said as soon as he saw the flashing lights of emergency services he thought it would be connected to the slide.
“It looked like there were too many children on it and the side area had given way. If, heaven forbid, they fell from the top I would say it’s at least 25 to 30 feet tall.”
Oliver Trimble told the BBC that the evacuation was announced over the event’s loudspeakers just before 8pm, when the fireworks were due to begin.
He said he saw victims being treated by medics, adding: “It was quite a horrendous sight to see.”
Woking District Rotary Club, the event’s organisers, said it was “shocked and distressed” by the collapse.
The park will remain closed into Sunday as police investigate the cause of the incident, the club added.
A Health and Safety Executive spokeswoman said “initial enquiries” were being made.
A Woking Borough Council spokesman said: “We will be working with the police and relevant authorities to understand and explain what happened.”