The incident happened at approximately 11:15 AM on Sunday on the Lower Esplanade in Gorleston, Norfolk. Police received reports that a child was thrown from a bouncy castle, as it apparently exploded. She was collected by the East of England Ambulance service, who had received several calls relating to the accident. As reported by the BBC, the young girl was immediately taken to the James Paget Hospital close by but passed away on arrival.

Bouncy castle explodes on Gorleston Beach

Witnesses said they heard a “loud bang,” and then saw people panicking and running away from the “Bounce About” children’s playground. A shop owner, who prefers to remain anonymous, said he heard the bang, but didn’t see anything happen, adding that whatever it was, looked to be something that is very sad.

The young girl’s family has been informed about the incident, and are receiving support from specialist police officers. In the meantime, police have cordoned off the area surrounding the bouncy castles and no one is allowed to use the facilities. However, the remainder of the beach is still open to members of the public and no roads in the area are being affected.

The Norwich Evening News reports that Great Yarmouth Borough councillor Emma Flaxman-Taylor said in a statement that all she can do is offer her condolences to the young girl’s family. Brandon Lewis, a Great Yarmouth Conservative MP for Great Yarmouth sent out a tweet, saying the incident was “absolutely tragic” and that his thoughts were with the girl’s friends and family.

Investigation underway

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is working with local authorities and police to investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident. What had been intended to be a fun day out for the child, turned into tragedy.

Witnesses describe the 'horrific incident'

People who had been at the scene posted on Facebook about what they called the “horrific incident.” The Norwich Evening News quotes a Facebook user, Kara Longshaw as describing the horrific scene when the bouncy castle had exploded, catapulting a young child around 20 ft into the air.

This isn’t the first incident of its kind relating to the popular bouncy castles. An incident at an Easter fair in Harlow, Essex saw a similar inflatable lifted by the wind from its moorings and then “cartwheeling” down a hill.

One school pupil was killed in the incident.

Another incident on 26 March 2016 saw seven-year-old Summer Grant of Hellesdon, blown away from a bouncy castle that was not properly secured. Fairground owners William Thurston and his wife Shelby were found to be responsible for the incident and went to jail for three years for the “preventable death” of the child.