END-OF-TERM celebrations ended in terror for students at a North Yorkshire college when an inflatable broke loose from its moorings.

The 29ft-tall slide was hired by Selby College, but hours into the event the inflatable toppled over and injured three students.

A statement from the college said the students, aged between 17 and 18, received first aid from college staff, and were taken to hospital for further treatment.

“We understand all three students were released from hospital within a matter of hours with minor injuries,” said the statement. “The college is now undertaking a detailed investigation into the circumstances that led to the incident.”

Two ambulances, a rapid-response vehicle and an emergency care practitioner were called to the scene just before 2pm on Friday.

An ex-student from the college, who was at the event but wished to remain anonymous, said about ten people were on the slide just before it toppled.

“It was going really well, but the next thing, I heard screams and saw the slide was rolling over backwards,” he said.

“I helped roll the slide back and there were three students trapped underneath. One male student was unconscious, I think one was having a fit because he was having problems breathing, and a female student tore muscles in her left leg.”

A representative from the Health and Safety Executive said event organisers had ten days to report any incident to them, and confirmed they had not yet been approached regarding Friday’s event.

• In July 2006, two women were killed and several others were injured when an inflatable artwork the size of a football pitch was blown into the air in Darlington.