Singapore

Operator of Airzone net playground to review safety measures after visitor 'drowns' in ball pit

The operator of a new attraction at City Square Mall, which features a suspended ball pit, said on Saturday it will review safety measures after a video of a visitor "drowning" in the pit went viral.

Bloggers Vivien and John Low, who run parenting blog Beautiful Chaos, posted a video on Facebook page on Saturday of their visit to the three-storey Airzone, touted as the world's first net playground in a shopping centre atrium.

The attraction, which had a soft opening in mid-January, includes a ball pit suspended on the third storey, and a slide and maze leading to the fourth and fifth storeys.

Mrs Low said in the post she had the "fright of her life" after entering the pit with her son, Riley, four.

"Not long into the play, I lost my balance in the ball pit and fell backwards.... I could not stand up," she wrote, adding that she is 1.72m tall and the balls went up to her armpits when she was standing.

When she "panicked and waved and screamed for help", no one came, she claimed.

Mrs Low said her son was "stuck inside" the pit too with a few other children. She was able to pull herself up after grabbing someone's hand.

Her experience was captured on video and the post has more than 4,600 shares.

Parents whom The Straits Times interviewed yesterday said they were not concerned, with some calling the Facebook post an overreaction.

But Airzone has apologised, saying it will review the number of balls included in the pit and ensure that staff trained in first aid are swifter in their response to requests for help.

"It is also a requirement at Airzone for children under the age of seven to be accompanied by an adult," it said.

The attraction is run by Ultimate Entertainments Group.

There are two or three trained workers on each level of the structure during peak operating hours, and a mandatory safety briefing is held before visitors are allowed to enter.

Mr Low later clarified it was his wife's first time in the pit and Riley's second. His son had asked to return because he "loves the ball pit".

He said their post was meant to advise parents to accompany their child in the pit.

Airzone will be officially launched on Friday.

ACCIDENTS FIRE FLOOD