x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

Parents call for party rental companies to be regulated after bouncy castle collapses in Sharjah

Families want operators of bouncy castles to be regulated after one collapsed during a party over Eid, injuring nearly 30 children.

Noor Kais Akeel was injured in an accident during the Eid holiday when an inflated castle collapsed.  Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
Noor Kais Akeel was injured in an accident during the Eid holiday when an inflated castle collapsed. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

SHARJAH // Parents are calling for party rental companies to be regulated after a bouncy castle deflated at a party, trapping dozens of children and leaving one with a broken arm.

Nearly 30 youngsters were injured when the inflatable collapsed in Sharjah’s Al Shahba area.

Noor Kais Akeel, 3, was sent flying into a neighbour’s tree before hitting the ground, breaking her arm.

Her mother, Marwa Marwan Khusayem, said her daughter needed surgery and had been traumatised.

“When we went out of the villa to collect her we feared she was dead but she was in appalling pain with a broken right arm,” she said.

“We were very fortunate she first fell on the tree and then she came down on the sand – if it had been a direct fall from above, our eyes would still be wet with tears.”

About 30 children were trapped in the castle and most of them suffered minor injuries, said Ms Khusayem, from Syria.

The family is now calling on the authorities to regulate companies that rent out inflatables such as bouncy castles and slides.

“We don’t want any other family to suffer like ours, watching their little ones in deep pain,” said Kais Mohammed Akeel, Noor’s father, who works with Dubai Police.

“We want the authorities, especially the municipality, to inspect and regulate the business of these bouncing castle operators.”

The incident happened last month during Eid. Noor was first taken to Al Qassimi Hospital and then to Rashid Hospital in Dubai, where she had surgery.

Noor must visit the hospital every four days and is due to have major surgery on November 20. Her mother has reduced her working hours to care for her.

Isabel Millan-Rumayor, from Spain, was at the party with her two daughters. One was in the bouncy castle when the accident happened.

“My young daughter Mariam, 7, survived narrowly when she jumped out of the castle,” she said.

“It was a traumatic experience for all the parents who saw it.”

Ms Millan-Rumayor said she had warned the two women who were managing the castle that it was not well inflated, but they insisted it was fine. Minutes later, it began to collapse.

She said the party was hosted by women from the UAE, Australia, Spain, Britain and Syria whose children are friends. They frequently go on social outings together.

A police spokesman said they were still investigating. He also warned anyone putting up bouncing castles to ensure they were safe and properly supervised.

ykakande@thenational.ae