Little girl dies in carnival trampoline disaster. Picture: AAP / Press Association
Little girl dies in carnival trampoline disaster. Picture: AAP / Press Association

Girl, 3, killed by exploding trampoline

A carnival worker desperately tried to catch a little girl who died after an inflatable trampoline she was playing on exploded, an inquest heard.

Ava-May Littleboy, 3, was thrown "higher than a house" when the trampoline burst on the beach in Norfolk, UK, in July 2018.

The three-year-old, from Suffolk, landed on her face on the sand, the hearing in Norwich was told.

She died later in hospital, having suffered a head injury.

Ava-May was at the beach with her parents and wider family when her aunt Abbie Littleboy and her best friend Beth Jones took her to the inflatables.

Nurse Beth said that while Ava-May was on the inflatable trampoline, she heard a loud bang, then saw her flipping through the air.

Ava-May Littleboy died after being thrown from a trampoline when it exploded on a beach in Norfolk, UK. Picture: AAP / Press Association
Ava-May Littleboy died after being thrown from a trampoline when it exploded on a beach in Norfolk, UK. Picture: AAP / Press Association


Beth said: "She went up so high, it was higher than my house, about 20 feet (six metres).

"There was a massive thud and Ava came down on her face and tummy.

"I wasn't close enough to catch her."

She said that she remembered screaming "catch her'" and a funfair worker "had her arms fully out to try to catch her, but she couldn't as it was so quick".

Abbie Littleboy said the sides of the inflatable trampoline seemed "stiff", adding that she assumed that was how it was meant to be.

She said she heard a loud bang, "like someone had set off a cannon".

'LIKE A CANNON'

Abbie said: "She was just flipping.

"I just remember my little niece flipping.

"Her eyes were closed and she didn't scream.

"I remember looking at her little face and I think the force that sent her up had already done something to her. It was like she was asleep."

In a desperate bid to save her life, Beth tried to resuscitate Ava-May with the help of others on the beach before paramedics arrived.

Abbie said that another girl of a similar age to Ava-May was also on the inflatable trampoline when it exploded - but the other girl was OK.

The three-year-old was thrown ‘higher than a house’ when the trampoline burst. Picture: AAP / Press Association
The three-year-old was thrown ‘higher than a house’ when the trampoline burst. Picture: AAP / Press Association

NEVER GOING BACK

Ava-May's mum Chloe Littleboy and her dad Nathan Rowe were on the beach some distance from the inflatables, and Abbie ran over to them.

In a heartbreaking statement read by the coroner, mum Chloe said: "Although I was screaming I couldn't actually cry.

"I just stood there shaking and screaming."

Ava-May's dad Nathan added: "My heart is scattered all over that beach.

"I will never go back there as long as I live."

Jacqueline Lake, Norfolk's senior coroner, said evidence would be heard about the "acquisition of the inflatable trampoline, risk assessments carried out, working practices at Johnson Funfairs Limited and the responsibilities and roles within that business".

She said: "The evidence will not include the reason why the inflatable trampoline exploded."

Ava-May’s parents gave emotional testimony at the inquest. Picture: AAP / Press Association
Ava-May’s parents gave emotional testimony at the inquest. Picture: AAP / Press Association

The nine-day inquest, which is sitting with a jury, continues.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission


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