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Reassurance offered after two Battle funfair incidents

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THE owners of the Battle of Flowers Funfair have moved to reassure people that safety is their top priority after a man was hit by a piece of falling wood and a large metal umbrella on a children’s ride came loose.

Battle of Flowers BOF funfair, Funtazia Travelling Theme Park. Extreme ride Picture: ROB CURRIE. (25398059)

James Cole, who runs the fair, said they were aware of both incidents, which had been logged, and added that checks had been increased on the teacups ride on which the umbrella came loose. No one was injured during that incident on Friday.

However, a man was injured on Monday after a piece of wood fell from a sweet stall as it was being packed away because of the weather, he added.

Writing on Facebook, Kirsty Mullan said it was her partner who had been injured and he had been knocked out and suffered a ‘huge bump and cut’ to his head, for which he was treated at the Emergency Department.

And Hilario Diogo witnessed the issue with the teacups ride and took to Facebook to warn others.

He wrote: ‘My daughter and her two cousins were about to ride on the teacups at the fun fair when the umbrella that is in the middle of the teacup fell off!!! No one was hurt and [it] missed my seven-month-old who was in the pushchair by a couple of feet as this heavy metal umbrella landed on the floor.

‘The person responsible was very apologetic but just made me feel very uneasy, if this was to happen again to someone else and they get hurt.’

Mr Cole said the umbrella had not fallen off but worked itself loose and extra checks were now being carried out on the ride.

‘We have upped our checks on the teacups ride,’ he said.

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‘You are always going to get a few minor issues but we work closely with health and safety.’

He said a health and safety executive from the UK visited the fair every time it was set up somewhere new and before it opened to check all rides and facilities complied with the right standards.

When some of the rides move for the Gorey Fete later this month a similar check will take place.

‘You can’t help the odd accident here and there, we would love to have nothing at all but it is the way it is,’ he said. ‘We have a good safety record and safety is our main priority.’

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The fair was closed on Tuesday due to the weather, not because of concerns about the rides but because of the chance of debris being blown around, he said.

It reopened yesterday and played host to between 150 and 200 children from the Variety Club of Jersey, who were treated to lunch and turns on the rides for free.

The Island’s Health and Safety Inspectorate has reportedly been informed about both incidents but was unavailable for comment at the time of going to print.

A spokeswoman for the States police, however, confirmed they had received a number of different reports regarding the fair, but that was normal.

She added that any health and safety issues would be dealt with by the Health and Safety Inspectorate and added that the force is providing a uniformed presence at the event alongside the Jersey Youth Service.

Meanwhile, Environmental Health said it had received one complaint about the fair relating to an alleged discrepancy between operating hours and those advertised.

Lucy Stephenson

By Lucy Stephenson
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