Barometer

The hidden dangers of bouncy castles

7 July 2018

9:00 AM

7 July 2018

9:00 AM

Trapped

Twelve Thai boys and their football coach were found in a cave ten days after being trapped by rising water. It may be months before they can be brought to the surface.

— The longest anyone has been trapped underground and then rescued is 69 days, after the San José mine in Chile collapsed in 2010. The 33 miners were rescued via a shaft drilled to 2,257ft below the surface.

— Less fortunate was Floyd Collins, a caver trapped 55ft below ground in Crystal Cave, Kentucky, in January 1925. He survived 14 days, but died around three days before a rescue shaft reached him.

Bouncy castles

A four-year-old girl died after a bouncy castle on a Norfolk beach was reported to have exploded and blown her 30 feet into the air. How dangerous are bouncy castles?

— At Easter 2016 a seven-year-old girl was killed when a bouncy castle in Harlow, Essex, was blown from its moorings. Two fairground workers were convicted of manslaughter through gross negligence.


— In 2003 a five-year-old boy died in Rotherham after climbing the wall of a bouncy castle and falling over it headfirst.

—In 2015 a boy had to be rescued from the Irish sea after a bouncy castle was blown off the promenade in Douglas, Isle of Man.

—In 2010 a US journal, Paediatrics, reported that children visit emergency departments at a rate of one every 45 minutes as a result of bouncy castle-related incidents.

Trans stats

The BBC said that 417 of its staff (around 2% of the total) are transgender. How does this compare with the general population?

1% ‘are likely to be gender incongruent to some degree’, according to the Gender Identity Research and Education Service, quoted by the Commons select committee on women and equalities.

0.58% of the US population are transgender, according to an estimate by UCLA School of Law.

There are 15,000 transgender patients in the UK, according to the NHS.

Catching fire

Fire services fought a large blaze on moorland near Manchester. How common are grassland and moorland fires?

— In England in 2015/16, fire services attended 22,100 grassland fires, a 14% increase on 2014/15.

— In Wales in 2016/17 fire services attended 1,716 grassland, woodland and crop fires, a 47% fall on the year before. 60% damaged an area less than 20 sq m. 1 in 6 fires damaged an area of more than 200 sq m.

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