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Long-awaited multi-million dollar playground damaged after firefighters rescue stuck child

By Brisa Colón

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    SOLEDAD, California (KSBW) — Only two weeks after its opening, a child got their elbow stuck in the playground equipment at Orchard Lane Park in Soledad, the first inclusive playground in south county. Cal Fire responded to the call and said they used a tool similar to the jaws of life to release the child.

City leaders said the new playground was fully inspected and in compliance with standards.

“After looking into the incident and talking with the manufacturer, we feel that this is an unexpected and unusual occurrence that we don’t expect to reoccur,” said Jessica Potts, the Soledad parks and recreational manager.

The structure the child got stuck in, in particular, is designed for children two to five years old. Cal Fire said the child rescued was about 7 years old.

Potts said this is a good reminder to parents to be mindful of the age recommendations at the park.

“One of the great things about the park is that it is targeted towards certain age groups, so definitely be aware of what the equipment is supposed to be used for and how to use it will definitely be helpful,” said Potts.

The park is a hit with the community. City officials say it had nearly 1,000 visitors on its opening day.

This incident is not stopping families from enjoying the new facilities.

“We’ve had a lot of really great feedback. A lot of people have spoken about how much they are enjoying it, so we’re just really happy to see it being fully used,” said Potts.

The child was not harmed and is safe and okay. The damage to the playground equipment remains but is minor. The city said they are working quickly to get it back open as soon as possible.

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