Teenage boy killed after horrific ‘serious incident’ at Kent fairground

A teenage boy has died following a “serious incident” at a funfair in Kent.

Emergency crews were called to Pencester Gardens in Dover at around 7.45am this morning – when the fair was reportedly still closed.

The site was hosting the Family Funfair run by Kent-based Forrest Amusements which, according to a poster, was due to open to the public on Wednesday.

Locals said they had heard a group of around six youngsters had climbed over fencing on the perimeter to into the fairground, where the teen, who was “apparently 14”, died.

The owners of the fairground event issued a statement today which said they were “deeply shocked and saddened” by the incident.

The circumstances surrounding the incident are currently unclear but South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) confirmed that a teenage boy was found deceased at the scene.

A spokesperson said: “We were called at 7.42am this morning (August 3, 2022) to a serious incident at Pencester Gardens in Dover.

“We immediately dispatched a number of clinical resources to the scene, including our HART team and Critical Care Paramedics, however, sadly, a teenage boy was pronounced as deceased at the scene.”

A road adjacent to the park was initially closed to traffic but has since been reopened.

Workers are believed to have set up the rides on Tuesday and had planned to officially launch the fair today.

Witnesses described seeing officers interviewing people at the funfair today. One said: “I just arrived and there were fire engines, medics and police.”

A spokesman for Forrest Amusements has now spoken out following the boy’s death.

A spokesman said: “We are deeply shocked and saddened to hear about the tragic incident which occurred this morning at one of our funfair events in Pencester Gardens, Dover.

“Kent Police have confirmed that the death is not being treated as suspicious and a report will be prepared for the coroner. The Health and Safety Executive has attended the scene along with the emergency services.”

A Kent Police spokesman confirmed the force attended the incident but said no suspicious circumstances have been reported.

The spokesman said: “Kent Police was called by South East Coast Ambulance Service to Pencester Gardens, Dover, at 7.45am on Wednesday 3 August 2022.

“No suspicious circumstances have been reported, and the Health and Safety Executive have been informed.”

The police spokesperson said they could not provide the age of the deceased, as this was the responsibility of the coroner. They did, however, confirm it was a teenager who had died.

A Kent Fire and Rescue spokeswoman also confirmed the service had been called to the scene to assist police.

Catherine Dennison, 75, a retired P&O ferry worker who lives close to the park said she heard an “unusual” number of sirens this morning.

She came out her house to see what was going on and saw a fleet of emergency vehicles near the park.

She said: “I spoke to a young boy who said he had watched it happen. He said a boy was climbing up on the frame of a ride and his friends were telling him to get down, but he didn’t listen and then the boy lost his footing.

“He was 14 apparently.”

Catherine, who had worked on the ferries as an interpreter added: “It’s so awful. I feel so sorry for his mother, and his father, and his friends who saw it.”

Sarah Rogers, 51, who lives nearby said: “The kids climbed over the fence into the funfair and then the boy was on the ride called Body Count.

“He went up to the top of it and fell off apparently.. It’s absolutely terrible.”

Laura Haley, 42, who has lived nearby for eight years said: “It’s so sad and shocking.”

Another witness said that she had seen “three ambulances, a couple of fire trucks and some police vehicles along Pencester Road, which was blocked off. They were saying there had been a fatality, and the entrance to the fair had been cordoned off with tape.”

An HSE spokesman added that the body is “assisting emergency services with their response”.

Its website says it was founded in 1889 and is the largest supplier of funfair attractions in the county.