BY CALUM FRASER
A concerned father is calling on better health and safety standards at funfairs after his daughter allegedly snapped her leg flying off an inflatable slide.
Mark Harmon says he watched in horror as his nine-year-old daughter, Bayley Harmon Ormant, slid down the 15ft inflatable slide at a fairground and “flew off” the end, cracking her shine bone.
The Streatham Hill resident leaped the barrier at the Mitcham Status Fair to attend his daughter who was writhing on the floor in agony.
Mr Harmon, a traffic marshall, said: “As she was coming down the slide, she flew forward and landed on the crash mat, which in my view was nowhere near thick enough.
It was more of a door mat than a crash mat. “I was about 2ft away and heard a horrible crack, it sounded like a branch breaking. I’m thinking, ‘what the hell was that?’
She was rolling on the floor saying ‘daddy daddy daddy, I’ve broken my leg’. “My daughter was in so much distress, it was a horrible sight to see.
She was crying in agony. Nobody came to help, there was no first aid and no ambulance. I picked her up and carried her on my back out of the park and called 999.”
Mr Harmon’s remarks come after a different inflatable slide collapsed at a fairground in Surrey on Saturday, November 3, hospitalising eight young children. This fairground had no connection with the organisers of the Mitcham Status Fair.
The 46-year-old said: “When I heard about what happened in Surrey I couldn’t believe it. It is ridiculous. Who is regulating these people?”
The incident took place on August 11 and Bayley, who attends the Sacred Heart primary School in Este Road, Clapham, was in a cast for more than two months.
The father-of-two said: “The doctor called it a clean break. She missed weeks of school and only went back last month when she got her cast off.
“She’s undergoing physio but still walks on a crutch. “Her confidence has all gone “I will never forget that, it brings tears to my eyes when I talk about it. To see my child go through that pain, it’s disgusting and horrible.”
Mr Harmon said he returned to the fair the next day in Three Kings Piece in Mitcham to speak to the organisers.
He said: “One woman suggested she could give my daughter free tickets for the ride. I said ‘no way. I’m not taking my daughters anywhere near those rides again’. “It could have been a matter of life and death.
I spoke with Merton council and they said it was up to the organisers of the show to arrange health and safety.
“All the staff should be trained in first aid. I saw the fair had come back this Halloween.
“Something needs to change or I would not be surprised to hear of more accidents.”
Merton council had not commented at the time of going to press. Perron Coupland, director of Rose’s Pleasure Parks, said: “It is very rare for us to get an incident like this and we do not operate inflatable slides any more.
Any incidents like this will have been reported to the HSC team and I will investigate this further.
We apologies to the girl involved and hope she recovers soon.”