The 12-year-old boy tragically died at the Tamworth SnowDome in Staffordshire in front of shocked parents and children, despite paramedics’ best efforts to save him
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Parents claim their children watched in horror as a 12-year-old boy was killed while sledging down a ski slope at a popular snow sports attraction.
Staffordshire Police have opened an investigation after the child died in an incident at the SnowDome in Tamworth on Friday.
The force has not yet revealed the cause of the incident, as health and safety investigators open a probe.
However families claiming to have witnessed the incident say the child was sledging when he was fatally injured.
Some claimed to have seen the child collide with a skier on the slope.
West Midlands Ambulance Service paramedics rushed to provide life supporting treatment to the boy, but were unable to save him and he was tragically confirmed dead at the scene, a spokesperson said.
Writing on Facebook, mum Charlie Christofi-James said her step-daughter and her friends were behind the boy when he was fatally injured.
She also blasted Snow Dome staff, accusing them of effectively “trapping” children on the escalator leading to the slope where the tragedy happened and leaving them to witness the traumatic incident.
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The mum, whom the Mirror has contacted for comment, wrote: “So very sad and shocking. We were there.
“Our children were next to do down and saw it all.
“Snowdome handled this appallingly.
“They trapped my step-daughter and her friends at the top of the escalator to witness CPR on a child.
“They tried to leave and were told to go back up. I was asking staff why they were just letting them witness it all, it was horrific.
“We weren’t even told if it was our child when I was shouting down from the viewing balcony.
“Eventually after 20 minutes we’d had enough and went in and got everyone out ourselves. Our children were a mess.
“I’ve never witnessed such a shambles in my life.
“My step-daughter and her friends are still crying now (they were next to go down so saw it all) and it was three hours ago.
“It’s too horrific to describe on here in case any family read.
“Comments of ‘well they would have been dealing with the incident’… that’s not the case as there was lots of staff just hanging around and trying to pretend nothing serious was going on.
“There were toddlers and children witnessing very close up a horrific scene.
“Our children were asking to leave and were being ignored too. It just shouldn’t have happened. I’m still in shock at it all.
“You don’t think these kind of things are that dangerous.”
Another parent wrote: “My friend took his kids to the slope and say the boy was sledging when he somehow collided with a skier about half-way down the slope.
“It shouldn’t happen because the staff should be monitoring when people can go down to avoid this very thing.
“It was apparently very busy and full of kids. Police were questioning all the staff who all looked in shock.”
The SnowDome said it will remain shut this weekend following the tragedy.
In the statement released by the venue , a spokesperson confirmed an investigation had been launched following an ‘accident’.
It read: “With our sincere apologies the SnowDome will not be open this weekend. This is due to an accident that is being investigated.
“It is for this reason that the venue is closed. When it is possible and appropriate to make further comment then we will surely do so.
“We are truly sorry for the disappointment that this may cause.”
Staffordshire Police is urging witnesses to the incident to come forward, and has announced the force has referred the incident to the Health and Safety Executive.
A police spokesman said officers were called to reports of a serious injury at the SnowDome at 6.40pm Friday.
“Officers attended the location along with ambulance crews who treated a boy at the scene.
“Sadly, the boy, aged 12, died of his injuries shortly afterwards.
“His parents are being supported by officers. Our thoughts are with them.
“A man is also being treated for injuries. We would kindly urge people not to speculate about the incident or share any images/footage there may be.
The force also urged people not to share images or footage of the tragedy on social media.
A spokesperson said: “We would kindly urge people not to speculate about the incident or share any images/footage there may be.”
There are three slopes at the Snow Dome of varying degrees of difficulty.
The main one is 170m long and 30m. The other two are beginner slopes, measuring 30m long and 25m long.
The Mirror has contacted Staffordshire Police for further information on the incident.
Anyone who has information about the incident is urged to contact Staffordshire Police on 101 or via social media ref 665 of 24 September.