A second child was also lifted into the air while ‘zorbing’ at a festival where a nine-year-old boy suffered ‘multiple serious injuries’ after soaring up to ‘100ft’, it has emerged.
The two children were playing on a lake at Southport Food and Drink Festival in Merseyside at around 2pm yesterday when their zorb balls were whipped into the air by an unexpected gust of wind.
One boy flew up to ‘100 ft’ into the sky before crashing down onto a wheelie bin in front of horrified witnesses.
The boy suffered ‘significant injuries’ and remains in hospital. The second boy was uninjured despite also crashing to the ground.
Now, a witness has revealed how a ‘huge’ gust of wind came ‘out of nowhere’ to sweep up the zorb balls.
A young boy is in hospital after an inflatable ‘zorb’ (pictured once deflated) he was riding inside was swept high into the air by a freak gust of wind
The nine-year-old was taken to hospital by air ambulance for treatment to his injuries, which are not life threatening
They told Sky News: ‘There was a huge gust of wind out of nowhere, causing people’s umbrellas, drinks and plates to fly about, then the wind ramped up in a split second.
‘One child was blown out of the pool and the second just flew up in the air at approximately 100ft (30m) and then landed heavy – we didn’t see him land, but we saw him fly up.’
The witness described the scene as ‘very, very scary’ and said people at the festival were ‘quite shook up’ in the aftermath.
Another onlooker said: ‘There was a gust of wind, the inflatable zorb took off from the water pool with the boy inside. The zorb then landed on a wheelie bin, the zorb popped on impact leaving the boy on the ground.
‘The PA put an announcement out for security and St John’s (ambulance) to attend. They were on the scene within a minute or so. They were brilliant, took control of the situation and remained calm.
The boy was taking part in the zorbing activity at Southport Food and Drink Festival, Merseyside, when the accident happened at 2pm
A second boy was also swept into the air but was uninjured, Merseyside Police revealed
An onlooker said: ‘There was a gust of wind, the inflatable zorb took off from the water pool with the boy inside. The zorb then landed on a wheelie bin, the zorb popped on impact leaving the boy on the ground’
‘A few minutes later the air ambulance circled for somewhere to land, at the same time the rapid response and main ambulance turned up.’
It is understood he was taken to nearby Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.
A spokesperson for Sefton Council said: ‘We can confirm that an Air Ambulance was called to Victoria Park, Southport, on Sunday, June 4, following an accident within the grounds.
‘First aid responders from St John Ambulance reacted quickly to provide assistance to the person involved prior to the arrival of other emergency services.
‘Following the incident a full health and safety inspection has been undertaken at the Southport Food and Drink Festival and the event remains open to the public.
‘Our thoughts are with those involved in the accident and we wish them a full recovery.’
Police are now appealing for anyone who may have captured images or videos of the shocking incident to get in touch to help establish the circumstances of what happened.