Horror at Santa's grotto as baby smashed on the head by falling pole

Trinity Mirror

An angry mum claims her five-week-old baby son could have been killed after he was smashed on the head by a falling metal bar inside a Santa's grotto.

Claire Kelly has called for the grotto to be closed for safety checks following the "terrifying" incident.

See also: 'Heavy tinsel' blamed for half-dressed city Christmas tree

See also: Misery for rail passengers as Christmas engineering works announced

The 25-year-old said she screamed to a man dressed as Santa Claus for help after the pole crashed onto son Leo's skull.

As she held the tot in her arms, Santa and his elf helper lifted the bar off him - and the female elf told her the bar had collapsed before, she told the Daily Record.

Claire said the incident occurred at The Forge shopping centre in Glasgow's Gallowgate on Saturday.

Management at The Forge insisted there had been no previous incidents at the grotto and the broken pole had been quickly fixed.

However, Claire said more parents and kids were welcomed into the grotto straight after the incident.

The mum-of-two, who paid £13.95 for her family's visit to Santa, said: "It's terrifying as it could have been worse, even fatal, with the sheer force involved. I keep having visions of it happening again and again."

Claire, who lives in Glasgow's Easterhouse, was at the centre with daughter Brooke, five, and Leo.

She said: "Brooke wanted to see Santa and was really excited. I hadn't planned to take Leo in because he was sleeping in his pram but he woke up.

"I was carrying him and we had pictures taken with Santa. As we went out, a woman dressed as an elf pulled back the curtain at the exit and a heavy gold-coloured bar, which was about eight feet off the ground, fell straight down.

"It was big and thick and was holding up the heavy red curtains. It landed straight on Leo's head with a horrible thudding noise.

"I couldn't get the bar off him, or move it. He was screaming and the weight of the curtains was pulling the bar down. I couldn't even see his face.

"The elf was trying to lift it but she had to ask Santa for help. Santa grabbed it and together they managed to get it off him."The bar hit my wrist as it was moved and I could feel the weight of it. I was left with a sore wrist so Leo must've got the full force."

Claire said she was quickly ushered outside.

She added: "The elf said, 'Oh my goodness' when she saw the red mark on Leo. She said it hadn't been the first time the bar had fallen and told Santa, 'This can't keep happening, this needs to be fixed.' Leo cried for about five minutes."

A manager came and apologised and said it would be fixed. He promised he would phone me later to check on Leo but he never did.

"They stuck the bar back up and were getting more families in straight after we had come out. But they couldn't have been certain it was secure.

"I phoned NHS 24 and they told me to take Leo to hospital . He was kept him in for a few hours for observation to make sure he wasn't concussed."

A Forge spokeswoman said: "Both mother and child were attended to by the centre's first aiders and there were no visible injuries.

"They were advised to attend the hospital as a precautionary measure due to the child's age."The pole was secured immediately by centre staff and the grotto continued trading.

"The grotto has been open in the centre for a number of years with no incidents of this nature reported before."