Playground horror as child, 9, crushed

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THE family of a nine-year-old boy who they claim was crushed while playing in a Blackpool park say he is lucky to be alive.

And they have called on all councils to check play equipment to make sure the incident cannot be repeated.

Jamie Jackson, from South Shore, went to Claremont Park with his friends on Monday and was playing on the park’s tyre swing equipment when the accident happened. The family claim a large metal unit fell on to Jamie, crushing his skull.

The swing has a curved frame and a tyre suspended from a metal attachment by long steel chains.

The alarm was raised by Jamie’s four friends and he was rushed to Blackpool Victoria Hospital where the family say doctors diagnosed a brain injury and a depressed and fractured skull. He was taken to Manchester Children’s Hospital where he underwent emergency neurological surgery.

Mum Lisa said: “It wasn’t until Tuesday night he started coming around. It was a nightmare, I can’t explain what it’s like to see your son lying there.

“We worried when he did wake up it wouldn’t be our little boy. When he first came around he couldn’t remember his friends or even much about his sister Kiera, but as the swelling is going down he is starting to remember more.”

Dad Gregory added: “We are planning to take legal action, but Jamie is our number one priority.

“There is no way a little boy should go to the park to play football and end up in intensive care.”

“Parks are colourful and look like fun but they are full of chains and metal and need to be properly maintained. We don’t want anyone to go through what we have.”

Family members removed the tyre swing from the park and claim the components were corroded.

Russ Weaver, assistant director of neighbourhood services for Blackpool Council said: “It goes without saying that we wish Jamie a full and speedy recovery and that he is home soon. The circumstances of the accident remain a little unclear.

“The police have commenced an initial investigation and are in contact with ourselves and the Health and Safety Executive. The equipment has been dismantled and removed from the site and this is obviously making it very difficult for those involved in the investigation to determine what exactly has taken place.”