Eight children were left injured after an inflatable slide collapsed at a fireworks event in Surrey last night.
Woking Fireworks display was evacuated following the horrifying incident in Woking Park at around 7.30pm.
Pictures from the scene showed emergency crews treating a patient next to the ’25ft-high’ slide amid crowds of people.
Witnesses said they saw several people “panicking” as they left the scene, while children were heard crying.
Police have since confirmed seven of the eight wounded children were discharged from hospital overnight.
- Did you see what happened? Email email@example.com
The eighth victim is being kept in for “observations”.
Organisers of the event said the “serious accident” occurred in the funfair area and their thoughts were with the injured children.
They also said they would carry out a “full review”.
“We are all very shocked and distressed by events in the funfair this evening,” the organisers said.
“We are focusing in assisting the emergency services in dealing with the injured children. If you’ll excuse us, we’ll turn our attention to dealing with ticketing issues etc when we can?”
Below is what we know from last night’s incident so far…
An inflatable slide collapsed at Woking Fireworks at around 7.30pm, before the fireworks display was due to begin.
Eight children were injured in the shocking incident. All the victims were aged under 16, South East Coast Ambulance said.
In an earlier statement, the service said the children suffered “potentially serious injuries” and were transported to local hospitals.
Seven went by road ambulance and one went by air ambulance.
Surrey Police today gave an update on the eight victims.
The force tweeted: “Following inflatable slide incident @WokingFireworks last night, we’re pleased to say 7 of 8 injured were discharged from hospital overnight. 8th victim kept in for observations, but injuries not believed to be significant.”
Most of the victims were taken to London hospitals. They were treated at St George’s Hospital and King’s College Hospital.
One victim was treated at St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey, Surrey.
The Health and Safety Executive will now investigate the incident.
The park was evacuated to allow the air ambulance to land at the scene. It was later closed to the public while police investigate.
Where did it happen?
The incident happened at the fireworks event in Woking Park, Surrey.
Gates for the event opened at 6pm. The fireworks were due to start two hours later, but the park was evacuated shortly after 7.30pm.
Around 12,000 people had been due to attend the extravaganza last night, but it is believed around 9,000 turned up.
Organisers said the slide collapse occurred in the funfair area.
What have people at the scene said?
One eyewitness told Mirror Online people were “panicking” and that they saw “families huddled around children” on the ground.
Eyewitness Andy Datson told Mirror Online: “Around 10 minutes before the fireworks were due to start they were cancelled.
“At least 10 ambulances, air ambulances, police were ushering everyone out. I don’t want to speculate but it looked like quite a few kids had been injured.
“There looked to be at least four or five kids on the floor beside the slide. The oldest kids who were on the slide were on about 12.
“I would say there was around 40 kids on it. “It didn’t look like it could hold that many people. There were a lot of people panicking around the area.”
Meanwhile, Eliza Fleming, 27, from Woking told us: “We were waiting for the fireworks. There was no noise.
“Eagle radio put a call out saying there had been a serious incident. We were asked to evacuate the park.
“As we walked past inflatable slide. There were tons of ambulances and quite. A few families. We saw a few children on the floor huddled around by families.”
Another eyewitness, Louise Nice, 50, from Woking said: “When we saw the slide we made a comment – we joked if we put adults at top they wouldn’t go down it. It seemed More than 25ft high.”
Local musician Anna Neale said she was among the hundreds of people who evacuated the park, which had been packed with families with young children.
The 36-year-old mother-of-two said: “We saw all the blue lights and saw the air ambulance arriving. We all evacuated very calmly. Everyone was just shocked.”
She had planned to take her daughters, aged 10 and six, on the giant slide after the fireworks.
She said: “I am very grateful my children didn’t go on it, let’s just put it that way. I hope everyone is ok.”
What have police said?
Chief inspector Steve Schulten from Surrey Police said in a statement from the scene just after 11.30pm: “Following an incident on an inflatable slide at Woking Park fireworks display at around 7.30pm this evening a major incident was declared.
“This followed after a number of children fell from the slide and were injured. “Eight children have been taken to hospital by South East Coast Ambulance Service with potentially serious injuries.
“Working with the organisers of the event the site was evacuated.”We are grateful to the public for their understanding and assistance in quickly leaving the scene. The Health and Safety Executive have been informed and will be carrying out their own investigation to find out what happened.”
“Woking Park will be closed until further notice.”
This morning, police confirmed seven of the eight victims had been discharged from hospital.
The force is appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident, or has video or photographic footage of what happened, to contact them via 101, or reporting online at surrey.police.uk/ReportIt, quoting reference PR/P18262524.
What have paramedics said?
Incident commander at South East Coast Ambulance Service Mark Hodsoll gave a statement from the scene last night.
He said: “This evening at 7.26pm South East Coast Ambulance received a report of a number of children injured at an event and our first resource arrived here six minutes later at 7.32pm.
“We dispatched a number of resources from the local area and that included critical care paramedics, hazardous area response team, two helicopter emergency teams and we worked with the first aid teams at the event to treat a number of casualties that had been injured.
“At the present time we can report that we’ve taken eight casualties to local hospitals – one of those was flown by helicopter.
“At this moment in time as they’re still being treated we are unable to report on their conditions other than they’ve got potentially serious injuries.
“Our thoughts are with those injured and their families.”
What is expected to happen now?
Surrey Police is leading the investigation into the incident.
It has informed the Health and Safety Executive, which is carrying out its own investigation.