Shut down ‘Britain’s most dangerous’ trampoline parks: Calls for Flip Out venues to close as visitors reveal horrifying accidents – from broken necks and ankles nearly torn off… to crowbars found in foam pits
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Infuriated customers are calling for Britain’s dangerous trampoline parks to be shut down after a string of horrifying incidents and gruesome injuries have come to light, MailOnline can reveal.
Amongst those calling for the closure is Daniel Moseley, who was 20-years-old when he broke his neck and became paralysed after jumping off a piece of equipment at the Flip Out trampoline park in Stoke on Trent in January 2018.
Rebecca Louden claimed she took advice on how to jump from height into a foam pit only to have her ankle almost torn off as she took the plunge. Grim photos show her exposed bones and tendons before she was rushed in for surgery.
On a different instance, a mother-of-two was left passed out in the park after a ball smacked her in the face, with staff unaware of how to provide medical treatment and letting the potentially concussed woman drive her two infants home.
In another park, a child jumped onto a play mat that was littered with a hammer and crowbar, left unattended by workmen. When a complaint was made to the company nothing was said or done, according to the concerned parent.
Another panic mother claimed taking their child to an overcrowded trampoline arena was one of the ‘most dangerous things’ they have ever gone to.
The claims are just the latest in a series of allegations made against trampoline parks operating up and down the UK.
Have YOU experienced a trampoline park horror? [email protected]
Daniel Moseley, was 20-years-old when he broke his neck and became paralysed after jumping off a piece of equipment at the Flip Out trampoline park in Stoke on Trent in January 2018
He said it makes his ‘blood boil’ that the trampoline park did not put the correct health and safety checks to stop his accident from happening. Pictured: Daniel running before his accident
Rebecca Louden claimed she took advice on how to jump from height into a foam pit only to have her ankle almost torn off as she took the plunge. Pictured: Rebecca’s sliced open ankle
Grim photos show Rebecca’s exposed bones and tendons before she was rushed in for surgery
An X-ray of the metal rods placed in Lucy’s back to help her recover following the horrific injury
David Shuttleworth, of Barlaston, Staffordshire, and Matthew Melling, of Spinningfields, Manchester, both 33, pleaded guilty to health and safety offences at Chester Crown Court
It comes as two former trampoline bosses who ran the notorious Flip Out Chester admitted in court to health and safety offences after 11 people broke their backs – three of home suffered the fractured spines on a single day in 2017.
Most of the broken bones at the Cheshire park were caused when people jumped from a 13ft high tower, known as the Tower Jump, into a foam-filled pit.
Concerns had been raised about the safety of the park when scores of visitors started becoming ‘injured on a daily basis’, with bosses at the nearby Countess of Chester Hospital warning that specialist orthopaedic surgeons were facing unnecessary pressure as a result.
David Shuttleworth and Matthew Melling, both 33, pleaded guilty to health and safety offences when they appeared at Chester Crown Court last month.
The company was dissolved last year, with Flip Out Chester now operated by a different franchisee.
The business duo admitted that they failed to prevent visitors being exposed to risk after a investigation found 270 known accidents occurred over a seven-week period between December 2016 and February 2017.
They now face up to two years behind bars as well as a hefty fines.
In the wake of the unprecedented court case other trampoline enthusiasts and concerned parents have come forward expressing concern for the dozens of similar parks still operating.
Daniel in hospital following his incident, which took place at the Flip Out in Stoke-on-Trent – also owned by Melling and Shuttleworth
Liza Jones who suffered a back fracture and burst vertebrae after landing in a foam pit at a trampoline park
Liza was left in ‘most pain I’ve ever suffered’ after leaping from a 13ft high platform into a foam pit at the 40,000 sq ft centre near Ellesmere Port in February 2017
Michelle Conway was left needing stiches after her top lip was ripped away from her nose in the Flip Out accident in Chester
Daniel, who became paralysed from the neck down while at the other trampoline park owned by Shuttleworth and Melling, said it made his ‘blood boil’ that his accident happened a year after 11 people broke their backs in the Chester branch.
The 25-year-old, who is now in a wheelchair as a result of the tragic incident, added: ‘The fact remains that in the years before my accident nothing was done in regards to health and safety to prevent this from happening.’
Flip Out alone runs 31 sites across the country – with two more on its way. It is just one our of a handful of companies encouraging youngsters and families to spend an active day out in their indoor centres.
Anjie Gibbons was attending the Flip Out trampoline park in Scotland when a child was left on the floor injured, unable to move.
She told MailOnline: ‘We were in the Flip Out in Glasgow a couple of months ago. On our arrival one of the tumble tracks was closed as a girl was lying on the floor, injured and unable to move.
‘This area was cornered off but the rest of the venue was operating as normal. We were there for two and a half hours and she lay there the whole time.’
At the same park in Glasgow – which claims to be the largest trampoline arena in the world – dangerous work tools were left lying around, in easy reach of toddlers.
When flagged to staff member, the mother claims her concerns were dismissed.
Lucy undergoing a five-hour operation to place metal rods into her back
George Magraw was 21 when he fractured his spine at the Flip Out Chester trampoline park
Lucy Jones also fell victim to the Tower Jump when she flung herself off it in January 2017 leaving her with a broken back
Rebecca Louden said: ‘I had an experience at the Glasgow Flip Out venue where a hammer and crowbar were left unattended on a play mat in the middle of the arena for over ten minutes at an under five’s section.
‘When I highlighted my staff to the concern, it was dismissed as “someone is using them so don’t touch them”.
‘I emailed multiple people from the company and nothing was said or done about this major health and safety issue. My child actually jumped on the mat and that’s when I noticed them.’
A mother-of-two, only wanting to be referred to as Collette, was at the Poole Flip Out when her accident occurred.
She told MailOnline: ‘Whilst there I got knocked out by a ball. The staff did not know what to do and let me walk about once I came to with my two children without any care or concern.
‘They did not get me medical care. A member of the public treated me as they [the staff] did not know what to do.
‘When I complained they said I was not allowed to see anything risk [assessment] wise but had updated their system and said it would not happen again.
‘I am lucky nothing happened to me or my children when driving more than half an hour home afterwards.’
Prices to bounce at a Flip Out venue range from £8 for under five’s to £12.50 for everyone else.
Lucy said she was left in the ‘worst pain of her life’ after she smashed her back at the Flip Out park in Chester
George had undergo grueling surgery for to replace his shattered vertebrae with a metal disk
The number of indoor trampolining attractions has mushroomed from just four in 2014 to more than 100. Pictured: Flip Out Chester
Before attending the park, trampoline-goers are forced to sign a waiver, declaring any pre-existing medical issues and that ‘participation can result in serious injury or death’.
The document warns that Flip Out does not provide direct supervision of those taking part and that individuals are responsible for their own actions. It says the company will not give medical advice if injury does occur.
Rebecca Nash, who snapped her ankle at Chichester Flip Out park in 2019, has called for the parks to close.
She told MailOnline: ‘I was being encouraged to jump back by the staff member in the section to gain more height. As I jumped back my ankle rolled 90° under me as I landed on the trampoline breaking the ankle and opening it all the way up under the pressure.
‘My foot was hanging on by tendons and facing the wrong way. By the time I arrived at hospital I was advised it could end up as an amputation.’
Fortunately for Rebecca she had ‘a talented surgeon who was able to reattach the foot and close the wound’ but it was ‘so badly torn’ that there were difficulties determining where ripped ligaments and tendons attached.
As a result Rebecca said she had to spend two weeks in hospital and was signed off sick from work for four month, which resulted her losing her job as she had only started a few weeks.
‘I was a single mother at the time to a five-year-old so it was a very stressful time,’ she added.
Two people diving off the Tower Jump into the pool filled with foam blocks
Speaking with the Mail yesterday, Liza said she is glad the managers faced court action
Ceri Jones, then 21, said she heard a sickening ‘crunch’ when her vertebra ‘exploded’ on impact after she leaped from the Tower Jump platform
Horrific photos reveal the extent of Rebecca’s injury, with blood pouring out of a huge cut on the side of her ankle bone.
Speaking in light of the recent court case, Rebecca said: ‘I was unable to take any legal action- the waiver they have you sign at the start of the session is pretty watertight and they take no responsibility for any injuries.
‘I had no idea they were such dangerous places, I never thought that could happen that’s for sure.
‘I’m glad people are finding out how dangerous these places can be. That place in Chichester should absolutely be closed in my opinion.’
And it is not just Flip Out trampoline parks that are coming under fire. Vicky took her foster child to Jumpin this weekend in Burgess Hill, London. She claims ‘they let everyone in to the point where it was very dangerous’.
Vicky added: ‘An ambulance turned up there before we left as a child was injured. I spoke with one of the staff members about how unregulated it all was. They said they knew and so did the management.
‘They should never have let that many children in – it was one of the most dangerous things I’ve ever taken a child to.’
MailOnline has contacted Flip Out and Jumpin Fun.
Those injured when playing at the trampoline park run by Shuttleworth and Melling have applauded the results form the court case.
Liza Jones, 26, from Wrexham was left in the ‘most pain I’ve ever suffered’ when she leapt from the 13ft high platform into a foam pit t at the 40,000 sq ft centre near Ellesmere Port in February 2017, and later launched legal action.
The firm was dissolved last year, with Flip Out Chester now run by a different franchisee
Daniel was left paralysed after he visited a Flip Out in Stoke-on-Trent five years ago
The 25-year-old now cannot move from the neck down
Lucy said the injury robbed her of experience of being an 18-year-old girl. Lucy said she had ‘so much life ahead of me, but instead I faced a long recovery needing constant physiotherapy’
‘I’m glad they’ve faced court action because I could have been left paralysed,’ she told the Mail yesterday.
‘I landed in the way I’d been told to, but I was one of three people who suffered broken backs that day.
‘People visiting these centres may feel they’re safe because they’ve got rules for people to follow, but that’s just not true.
‘The firms that are running them need to learn from this and ensure they’ve got proper health and safety in place.’
Lucy Jones also fell victim to the Tower Jump when she flung herself off the tower in January 2017.
The woman, then 19, had decided to go to the trampoline park with her friends, not knowing it would end with her being rushed to the hospital with a broken back after claiming she lost all feeling in her legs.
Recalling the incident a year later, she said: ‘As I screamed in agony, my friends rushed over to help me. I landed in a seating position, as we’d been told to do.
‘But, when I landed, I felt the worst pain I have ever been through in my whole life. For a while, I couldn’t breathe or feel anything.’
After being taken to hospital, it was revealed that she had fractured vertebra in her spine.
Before attending the park, trampoline-goers are forced to sign a waiver, declaring any pre-existing medical issues and that ‘participation can result in serious injury or death’
Infuriated customers are calling for Britain’s dangerous trampoline parks to be shut down after a string of horrifying incidents and gruesome injuries came to light
‘Mum and I burst into tears. I was absolutely terrified. The only thing I could think was, ‘Will I ever walk again?,’ she told the Daily Star. ‘I couldn’t believe a girls’ evening out had turned into such a nightmare.’
The terrifying ordeal led to Lucy undergoing a five-hour operation to place metal rods into her back. She then underwent rehabilitation every day in hospital before being discharged five days later.
The dental nurse said it robbed her of experience of being an 18-year-old girl. Lucy said she had ‘so much life ahead of me, but instead I faced a long recovery needing constant physiotherapy’.
In the same year, George Magraw, then 21, from Ellesmere Port, was told he needed months to recover after he also fractured his spine at the Flip Out park, jumping off the same tower structure.
Speaking at the time, George’s brother Phil told Cheshire Live: ‘Either there was insufficient foam in the pit or it’s too old to make sure he has a soft landing.
‘He landed on his bum and it’s shattered a vertebra in his lower back. They gave him an X-ray and said the disk had pretty much disintegrated.
‘George is in a lot of pain and they said after the surgery he will need months to get back to normal or there could be complications.’
Flip Out alone runs 31 sites across the country – with two more on its way
The number of indoor trampolining attractions has mushroomed from just four in 2014 to more than 100
The University of Leeds student had undergo gruelling surgery for to replace his shattered vertebrae with a metal disk.
Ceri Jones, then 21, said she heard a sickening ‘crunch’ when her vertebra ‘exploded’ on impact after she leaped from the Tower Jump platform.
Speaking after the accident in February 2017, she said: ‘I heard a ‘crunch’ and I couldn’t move – I was in agony. I was sat in there for 15 minutes before they carried me out.’
Mother-of-four Michelle Conway was left needing stitches after her top lip was ripped away from her nose during an accident at the trampoline park.
Unlike the other victims, Michelle’s accident happened when she entered the free-run area and tried jumping off a wall onto a trampoline that was supposed catapult her over another wall.
‘Instead unfortunately, it propelled me straight into the opposite wall, splitting the base of my nose away from my upper lip,’ Michelle said back in 2017.
‘Why on earth aren’t these walls padded? They are solid hard walls and children are on this ‘free run’ zone. I dread to think how I would have felt if it had been one of my children.
‘My youngest child called for help as there was blood everywhere, I even tried to stay off the white mesh trampoline so as not to stain it.
‘It felt like ages before a member of staff actually turned up to help. There were children all around me and they must have been horrified.
‘I then had to walk to the first aid room which was by the front entrance. I had blood pouring out of my wound and was offered nothing to cover it up whilst I walked through the whole building.’
Michelle said staff at the park told her to hold her lip together with a piece of tissue while her husband drove her to A&E with blood pouring out her mouth.
‘The force was that excessive the split went straight through the skin and I lost my frenulum, which is the piece of skin between the upper lip and gum.’
‘There is a waiver to sign before you go ‘jumping’ which states there is a ‘risk of death’,’ said Michelle.
‘I wonder how many people actually read this? If you thought you were actually going to die jumping on a trampoline would you go willingly to these places and take your children?’
In the first four months the park was open, ambulance crews attended the park on average once a week.
The number of injuries eventually became so severe that medics from the nearby Countess of Chester Hospital called a meeting with the park bosses following a surge in A&E attendances.
Lorraine Burnett, director of operations at The Countess of Chester NHS Foundation Trust, told the Wrexham Leader in March 2017: ‘In recent weeks we have seen an increase in patients arriving in our accident and emergency department reporting injuries from trampoline activities.
‘Our clinicians have met with local trampoline facilities to develop a link and share information about the types of injuries we are seeing.
‘We are grateful to our emergency department and orthopaedic specialists for taking time out of their already pressurised schedules to support this work.’
A few months later on July 8 fire crews rushed to the park after receiving calls that an 18-year-old had become trapped after dislocating his shoulder in the free-running, parkour area.
Mr Melling had raved that in the first six months of opening the park had ‘almost 2,000 five-star reviews from happy customer’, with a spokesperson for the site adding: ‘We are proud of our safety record but unfortunately accidents do happen.’
Shuttleworth, of Barlaston, Staffordshire, resigned as a director of Flip Out Chester’s then operator FO World Chester Ltd in 2018 while Melling, of Spinningfields, Manchester, quit in 2020.
They were prosecuted after an investigation by Cheshire West and Chester Council.
Christine Warner, its cabinet member for homes, planning and safer communities, said: ‘This business had a total disregard for safety regulations.’
The number of indoor trampolining attractions has mushroomed from just four in 2014 to more than 100.
However personal injury lawyers say they have been inundated with calls from people who have hurt themselves, sometimes with broken backs and life-changing fractures.
A spokesman for Flip Out said following the court case: ‘The incidents relate to a specific piece of equipment that was immediately closed. Our systems and procedures have evolved significantly since.’
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