A toddler was reportedly left covered in blood after being run over by a caterpillar ride at a fairground in West Sussex (Image: sussex news and pictures)

Get email updates with the day’s biggest stories

Invalid EmailSomething went wrong, please try again later.Sign upWhen you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Your information will be used in accordance with ourPrivacy Notice.Thank you for subscribingWe have more newslettersShow meSee ourprivacy notice

A three-year-old child was reportedly left covered in blood after being run over by a caterpillar ride.

The boy, who has not been named, had to be airlifted to hospital after sustaining a serious injury to his back in the freak accident at a fairground in West Sussex.

Witnesses saw him lying face down and said he had been unable to get back on his feet after being hit by the ride at the South of England Showground in Ardingly.

One mum, who was standing by the ride with her own children, said she is "still traumatised" by "the absolutely awful" incident.

The "flabbergasted" mum-of-two, 33, told The Sun: “I saw a huge cut on his back. There weren’t pools of blood coming out but there was a lot of blood."

Have you been affected by this story? Email [email protected]

The child was airlifted to hospital after staff rushed to call an ambulance to rescue the boy
(Image: sussex news and pictures)

She had been with her two children queueing for a different ride when she saw the "fantastic" ride attendants rushing to help the boy.

“He was face down on the track and as a mum I would have been in absolute panic," she said.

"They had to lift it off the child's body, but it's very heavy because it's stuck on the track."

It is believed the child managed to get through a gap at the entrance of the ride when he was hit.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has now been launched.

The boy's injuries are believed to be superficial and a full recovery is expected
(Image: sussex news and pictures)

A spokesman for the South of England Agricultural Society, which organises the three-day show, said they will be treating the matter "very seriously" as the investigation is launched.

He said the victim's injuries are believed to be superficial and he is expected to make a full recovery.

"Our thoughts and feelings are with the family, and we wish for a speedy recovery," the statement to the Sun reads.

A spokesperson for Sussex Police said: "Police responded to a report of a child being struck by a fairground ride at South of England show, Ardingly at 5pm on Sunday.

"A three-year-old boy suffered a serious injury requiring hospital treatment. He is now in a stable condition.

"Enquiries into the incident are ongoing."

A HSE spokesperson said: “HSE are investigating an incident, which took place at the South of England Show on Sunday 13 June.

"We cannot comment further at this time.”