THE artist who designed the giant inflatable sculpture which came free from its moorings killing two people at the weekend was involved in another incident with an artwork in Scotland 18 years ago.

On Sunday, two women died and 13 were injured, including a three-year-old girl, when the giant inflatable maze f lipped in to the air at a park in County Durham.

The Herald can reveal that Maurice Agis, the artist who created the work, was at the centre of an incident at the Glasgow Garden Festival in 1988 when another of his installations tore loose and dragged the artist and a fellow worker almost 30ft into the air.

Agis suffered back injuries as he tried to hang on to one of the mooring ropes during the incident.

Rex Lyons was one of the marine contractors who worked on the giant inflatable, called Clause 28, which floated on the Canting Basin during the festival.

He said: "This structure was on the water near where the Glasgow Science Centre is today. There was a strong wind and the thing just broke free.

"The artist tried to grab a rope to stop it but eventually had to let go. Aworker grabbed the rope and was lifted about 30ft into the air.

"He was dropped into the Clyde and the structure was last seen floating off down Govan Road. The safety consultants should have checked these things were 100per cent safe."

Agis, 74, was himself pulled into the air when his sculpture was torn from its moorings during the tragedy in Chesterle-Street last Sunday. His team of helpers had used extra ropes to tie down the 2500 sq m inflatable because of the heat.

Doctors were reportedly pleased with the progress of the little girl badly crushed in the tragedy at the weekend.

Rosie Wright, aged three, suffered multiple injuries when she was thrown from the exhibit but was saved by an anaesthetist who had been walking through the park.

Mother-of-two Claire Furmedge, 38, and grandmother Elizabeth Collings, 68, were named as the two women killed. Post-mortem examinations revealed they died from multiple injuries.

An investigation into the accident involving police and Health and Safety Executive has yet to identify the cause of the Co Durham tragedy.

Last night a spokeswoman for the artist spoke about the incident in Glasgow.

"The installation was on the water and no-one was seriously hurt other than the artist himself. It was a very different kind of incident.

"Maurice would have been happy to talk about what happened himself but he is still devastated after the accident at the weekend. His whole career has been making these sculptures."