Tamworth Snow Dome Remains Closed After Death of 12-year old Boy
25th September 2021
Last modified on September 29th, 2021
The indoor ski centre in Staffordshire cannot resume full operations following orders from the Health & Safety Executive. The child who died has been named as Louis Watkiss from Sutton Coldfield. Investigations are continuing. UPDATED
The indoor ski centre where Louis died cannot resume full operations following an order by safety authorities.
The SnowDome was closed immediately following Friday’s fatal accident involving Louis Watkiss.
The Health and Safety Executive, HSE, has issued a Prohibition Notice that requires some facilities to remain shut.
“We are aware and continuing to work with Staffordshire Police, (who have primacy,) and have served a Prohibition Notice on Snowdome Limited, which prevents the use of parts of the venue, until HSE is satisfied that systems in place to manage the risk of collision are suitable to address any ongoing risk to the safety of visitors and employees,” the HSE said in a statement.
The HSE is responsible for the regulation and enforcement of workplace health, safety and welfare.
Louis was hurt on a slope during an incident in which a man was slightly injured.
The child died at the scene.
The family of Louis Watkiss is being supported by specialist police officers.
It is reported he was sledging at the time but this has not been confirmed as investigations continue.
“We would ask everyone to respect the family’s right to grieve in private during this extremely difficult time,” said Staffordshire Police in a statement.
The leader of Staffordshire County Council, Alan White, said he was shocked by the ‘tragic news’.
“We must wait for the circumstances to be established, but I would offer my deepest sympathies at this terrible time to the family and friends of the deceased and to everyone affected by this tragedy,” he said.
After the incident on Friday evening the snow centre was closed over the weekend, and that has now been extended.
“The SnowDome is to remain temporarily closed following the tragic death of a child on Friday evening,” it said in a statement after the accident.
“The Directors and staff are deeply shocked by what happened, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this terrible time.
“An investigation is currently being carried out by the authorities, and we are giving it our full co-operation.
“We are unable to reopen until their work has been completed, but hope to be able to update you on the position in the very near future.
“If you have a booking affected by the closure, we will be in touch with you shortly.”
The emergency services were called to the slope at 6.40pm last Friday evening after the child was injured during an “activity” on the slope.
A man was also injured but did not require treatment from paramedics.
Two ambulances, two paramedics and an air ambulance attended the incident.
The boy was confirmed dead at the scene despite the best efforts of the medical team.
“On arrival crews found a boy who had suffered very serious injuries,” said a spokesman for the West Midlands Ambulance Service.
“Staff worked on him providing advanced life support but, sadly, despite all of the efforts it was not possible to save him and he was confirmed dead at the scene.”
The police have asked people not to to share videos & photos on social media and have requested that anyone with information about what happened to get in contact.
“We would kindly urge people not to speculate about the incident or share any images/footage there may be,” said Staffordshire Police.
“Anyone who has information about the incident can contact us on 101 or via social media ref 665 of 24 September.”
“For an evening’s activity to end so tragically is almost beyond belief and our sorrow is deeply felt,” said the Snow Dome chairman, Martin Smith.
“The directors and all of the employees extend their heartfelt thoughts and prayers and condolences to the family and friends of the young boy.”
He said the company was in “full co-operation with the investigating authorities” and was “providing complete and absolute assistance”.