THREE children have reportedly been hurt in a SECOND accident at a fairground fireworks display when a tea cup ride snapped off and flew into the crowd.
Terrified onlookers screamed after one of the tea cups broke free from the ride around 5pm during an event at Leeds Castle in Kent, attended by more than 8,000 people.
The horror incident happened last night, the same evening which saw eight kids rushed to hospital when a 30ft giant inflatable slide collapsed at a fireworks event in Woking, Surrey.
One eyewitness, Dee Sturgees, told how she had a narrow escape after deciding not to go on the tea cup ride when it “kept stopping unexpectedly”.
Ms Sturgees said: “We decided to move on to the next stall and play hook a duck instead.”
“…One of the tea cups had come loose from the ride and was spinning unattached through the air and into the crowd of people”
Eyewitness Dee Sturgess
“Thank god we did as a few minutes later I heard screams and turned to see one of the Tea Cups had come loose from the ride and was spinning unattached through the air and into the crowd of people standing around that ride.”
Ms Sturgess told how the crowd were “frozen” in shock as the incident unfolded.
“There was a mum with a very young toddler who was knocked under the cup who was hysterically screaming,” she added.
“I asked the ride attendant what has happened and he said it looked like the bolt had sheared off that attached the cup onto the ride.”
One girl is said to have broken her finger after the accident, Ms Sturgess said.
She spoke out after the “truly awful incident at Woking” to warn other parents.
Leeds Castle confirmed the incident happened yesterday, adding that the ride was due to be removed and inspected.
Other rides will also be investigated before the display goes ahead as planned this evening.
A spokesperson said: “We can confirm that an incident occurred yesterday evening before the fireworks event involving a low-level fairground ride falling from its revolving platform.
“As with any event of this size, Leeds Castle has a full team of paramedics on site who arrived within moments of the report of the incident, the ride being but 50 yards from the medical station, as did Leeds Castle’s Chief Executive and Health & Safety Officer who had both been in the control room when the incident was reported.
“Whilst the incident was attended by Kent Police, no other emergency service was called upon and Kent Police departed the site satisfied with the immediate response.
“Three people were directly involved and, while understandably shocked, none sustained significant physically injury and were able to watch the full fireworks display.
“The ride was being operated by an independent contractor who had all the necessary licences and up-to-date safety certificates for the rides at the event.
“The ride will be removed from the site once further inspections have taken place. All other rides are being inspected as a matter of course.
“The fireworks evening was attended by 8500 people and, other than the fairground accident, there were no other incidents.
“The display will go ahead again this evening, Sunday 4th November.”
A spokesperson for South East Coast Ambulance Service said they were contacted shortly after 5pm but did not attend Leeds Castle as the event’s medical cover dealt with the incident, the Daily Echo reports.
Cops and health and safety chiefs have launched a probe into the Woking accident, declared as a “major incident” by Surrey Police.
Thousands of people including hundreds of youngsters were evacuated from the display to allow a helicopter to land.
Seven of the eight children, all aged under 16, have now been discharged.
One youngster is said to be under observation but is not thought to be seriously hurt.
Parents who were in the park last night told how the slide appeared to be “overcrowded”.
Eyewitness Sam Datson, 23, said: “It didn’t seen as though there was anybody supervising.”
He added: “The kids all seemed to be under 10 and they just seemed to be lobbing themselves onto the ride. There was at least 40 kids on the there which seemed far too much.
“It really did seem a bit out of control.”