Five children have met their untimely death while four others are injured after falling from a bouncy castle that was blown into the air in Australia, police reported.
The accident which was caused by a wind gust, happened on Thursday at a primary school fun day in Devonport, Tasmania, Australia.
Police reported that several children fell from a height of about 10 meters (32ft) and are currently receiving medical treatment at the scene as well as in hospitals, with two boys and two girls among the victims.
The children were in grade six, meaning they were likely 10 or 11 years old. A fifth child died later in hospital.
Tasmanian Police Commissioner, Darren Hine, explaining what led to the tragic event, stated that the children were playing inflatable balls when the unfortunate incident happened.
“A wind gust had reportedly caused the jumping castle and inflatable balls to lift into the air. Our hearts are breaking for the families and the loved ones, schoolmates, teachers of these young people who were taken too soon.”Darren Hine
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the accident as “unthinkably heartbreaking”.
“Young children on a fun day out… and it turns to such horrific tragedy. At this time of the year, it just breaks your heart.”Scott Morrison
Paramedics arrived quickly at Hillcrest Primary School after the accident happened at about 10:00 local time (23:00 Wednesday GMT).
The children were given first aid before being flown in helicopters to hospital. Four children were initially pronounced dead and a fifth child later died in hospital.
Parents were alerted immediately following the incident, which happened on the last day of the school year.
A reporter, Monte Bovill tweeted that locals “have been running to the school to collect their children”.
One parent, speaking to a local newspaper, indicated that the school has previously installed such floats on similar occasions with no problems.
“You wouldn’t dream a fun activity day would end like this. We all feel so heartbroken for the parents involved. And feel guilty that we are also relieved our children were not injured.
“My prayers are with the family and friends of the children who lost their lives, the injured, the first responders and all those who witnessed this deeply distressing event.”A Parent
In the intervening time, the school was closed and parents rushed to the scene to collect their children.
The Police disclosed that an investigation is under way to unravel the cause of the accident.
Devonport, on Tasmania’s northern coast, is a small port city with just under 30,000 residents.
There have been other fatal bouncy castle incidents. In 2019, two children were killed and 20 others injured in a similar accident in China.
A year earlier, a girl died in the UK after being thrown from a bouncy castle that eyewitnesses say exploded on a Norfolk beach.
And two fairground workers were jailed for manslaughter by gross negligence after a bouncy castle blew away with seven-year-old Summer Grant inside, in Essex, in March 2016.