Australia bounce house sent flying by high winds, killing 5 kids

December 16, 2021
Emergency services personnel work the scene of a deadly incident involved with a jumping castle at the Hillcrest Primary School in Devonport, Tasmania, Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021. Multiple children have died and others are in critical condition after falling from a bouncy castle that was lifted 10 meters (33 feet) into the air by a gust of wind at a junior school on the island state of Tasmania on Thursday.
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Five children were confirmed dead and four others were left in critical condition following a horrific bouncy castle accident on Thursday in Australia. 

The children fell 33 feet from the bouncy castle as a result of a gust of wind that knocked the inflatable house. The bouncy castle was at a school function celebrating the end of the year in Australia’s island state of Tasmania. 

The children who died included two boys and two girls around 10 and 11 years old, according to police Commissioner Darren Hine. Police confirmed a fifth child died later on Thursday in the hospital.

Five other children were being treated, including four in critical condition. Hine said an investigation is underway. Images published by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation showed police officers consoling each other as paramedics provided first aid to victims.

Parents arrived at the school gate to collect their children as helicopters ferried the injured to hospitals.

Tasmania state Premier Peter Gutwein called the incident “simply inconceivable… I know this is a strong and caring community that will stand together and support one another.”

Tasmania police commander Debbie Williams told reporters “several children fell from the jumping castle. It appears they may have fallen from a height of approximately 10 meters.”

“This is a very tragic event and our thoughts are with the families and the wider school community and also our first responders,” Williams said.

This isn’t the first tragedy that’s occurred from a jumping castle or bounce house. In May, four children were injured after a bouncy house was lifted by strong winds in Arizona. In 2016, a 7-year-old in England died after sustaining injuries inside blown-away bouncy castle. And back in 2015, a young girl in China died after falling from a bouncy castle that was blown into the air by a strong gust of wind.

Contributing: The Associated Press. 

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