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outdoor swings for adults

Florence Hayman (2019-04-13)

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Staff have dismantled swings at a playground after children suffered electric shocks while playing on them - and locals have blamed overhead pylons. 

Shaun Veness was with his three-year-old daughter Poppy at the playground in High Brooms, near Tunbridge Wells, Kent, on August 14 when she complained that it 'hurt' when she held onto the metal chains attached to the swing.

Mr Veness, who spotted 132,000 volt power lines overheard, said his daughter started crying and told him 'Get me off daddy, it hurts' before he quickly took his daughter off the swing to stop her getting zapped again.

He then held on to the metal chain to see if there was a problem, and in a video posted on Facebook, seen by nearly 20,000 people, the chains can be heard 'buzzing with electric current' when he grabs them.

Shaun Veness was with his three-year-old daughter Poppy at the playground in High Brooms, near Tunbridge Wells, Kent, when she complained that it 'hurt' when she held on to the swing

Mr Veness, who spotted 132,000 volt power lines overheard, said there was a 'constant current' running through the metal chains of the swing

He said there was a 'constant current' and that is was not static electricity, adding: 'When I took her off I felt the chain, it wasn't static, it was a running current.'

Mr Veness immediately contacted housing chiefs at Town & Country Housing - which own and run the playpark and nearby housing estate - and bosses at UK Power Networks.

Specialists arrived soon after and tested the chains on the swings and the metal climbing frame - and they have now been removed from the playground.

Writing online, Mr Veness said: 'Interesting walk today... Put Poppy onto a swing and she started crying, I grabbed the chain to get her off and felt a hell of a jolt!!!

'Got her off and then recorded this!!! 2 of the 5 swings had current running through the chains.

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He added: 'It felt like a cattle fence, my hair was on end all day. Poppy is okay and we've gone back since but it has fascinated me how this could happen.' 

Roksana Mia said: 'We have the same issue...ladies there (at the play park) said to me be careful because you get electricity shock on it. 

'I was putting my little girl on one of those swings and when I just touched her back to push I felt this electricity going through her back and she jumped off it crying.'

A spokesman from Electrical Safety First, a charity which works to prevent death and injuries caused by electrical accidents, told the Kent Messenger newspaper last week: 'This is not simply a case of static but of a possible live current running through the chains of these children's swings.

He then held onto the metal chain to see if there was a problem, and in a video posted on Facebook, - the chains can be heard 'buzzing with electric current' when he grabs them

Mr Veness immediately contacted housing chiefs at Town & Country Housing and bosses at UK Power Networks, and specialists quickly removed the swings

'We are pleased to see the developer has since removed the outdoor swings for adults novel, which sit very close to power cables.'

Bosses at UK Power Networks said it found no fault with the power lines or at a substation on the edge of the play area.

Chiefs at Town and Country Planning, which own and run the housing estate where the playground is, said that the playground's 'proximity' to the 132,000 volt overhead power lines and nearby sub-station was being investigated.

A spokesman said: 'As there had not been any reports of issues previously, it seems to be as a result of the unique weather conditions.

'We understand that this case is unique and believe the case was due to the exceedingly hot, dry spell of weather.

'We will work with UK Power Networks to redesign the equipment to mitigate against potential risk in the future.

'We are continuing to investigate the cause and are unable to speculate further until these investigations are complete.'

The spokesman added: 'Due to advice taken, it is necessary for us to remove the swings in the play area.

'We are however looking to find a suitable place to replace the swings. We are really sorry and hope we can find a solution very soon.'

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