Five children dead and four injured after wind lifts bouncy castle into the air

Five children died and four suffered serious injuries when they fell 32 feet (10 meters) from a bouncy castle lifted into the air by wind at a school event in Australia on Thursday.

Children at Hillcrest Primary School in Devonport, on the north coast of Tasmania, were attending an end-of-school activity day when the tragedy occurred.

“Nine grade 5/6 Hillcrest Primary School students fell from a height of around 10 meters after a significant local wind event caused a jumping castle and several inflatable “zorb” balls to lift into the air about 10 a.m.,” Tasmanian Police said in a statement.

The five children killed include three boys and two girls. Police released the names and images of the children on Friday, with the permission of their families. They are Addison Stewart, 11, and Jalailah Jayne-Maree Jones, Jye Sheehan, Peter Dodt and Zane Mellor, who were 12.

The children from left: Addison Stewart, Jalailah Jayne-Maree Jones, Jye Sheehan, Peter Dodt and Zane Mellor.
Three of the four injured children are still in hospital, police also said.

An investigation is underway into what caused the tragedy, including the strength of the wind at the time and how the castle had been tethered to the ground.

Tasmanian Police Commissioner Darren Hine said “close to 40” children were taking part in the activities when a wind gust lifted the castle off the ground. Several adults were supervising the event and provided first aid until emergency services arrived, he added.

Authorities are offering counseling services to first responders and others in the small town, home to about 30,000 people.

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