INVESTIGATIONS have begun into how an inflatable slide blew away in high winds, injuring children and bystanders at a car boot sale.

The dramatic accident happened at Ripley Cricket Club near Harrogate at about 10am on Sunday.

Screams could be heard as the slide was picked up by strong gusts and blown 160ft across the site over stalls and crowds of shoppers, who tried to flee from its path.

The slide eventually came to rest against a vehicle. Five people needed hospital treatment, including children. It is believed there were several people on the slide when it began to break free.

They were later released from hospital, except for one patient who was kept in for overnight for observation.

The Health and Safety Executive said today (Monday, April 29) they had formally handed over the case to Harrogate Borough Council’s environmental services team to investigate the accident.

Nicky Garside, head of public protection for the council said: “We have started talking to the various agencies that attended the incident including North Yorkshire Police, the ambulance service and the Health and Safety Executive.

“As part of our investigations, we will be speaking to everyone involved, including the cricket club and the contractor who provided the equipment.

“We will be thoroughly examining the slide and its fixings to ascertain how this incident has occurred. Six people were injured. Five of the casualties were taken to Harrogate District Hospital for treatment and the other person was taken to Leeds General Infirmary suffering from chest pains. Thankfully it is not believed that anyone was critically injured in the incident."

Anyone attending the car boot sale with information, including photographs, is asked to contact the council on 01423-556815 or