Five children died and four others were in critical condition on Thursday after falling from a bouncy castle that was lifted 33 feet into the air by a gust of wind at a school on Australia’s island state of Tasmania. To mark the close of school year, the school held a celebration .
The children who died included two boys and two girls in year 6, which would make them 10 or 11 years old, said Tasmania police Commissioner Darren Hine. Later, police confirmed that a fifth child had died at the hospital.
Five other children were being treated, including four in critical condition. Hine stated that an investigation was underway.
Images published by Australian Broadcasting Corporation show police officers comforting each other while paramedics provide first aid for 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 that this community is strong, caring and will support each other. “
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 an extremely tragic incident and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families, the school community, and first responders,” Williams stated.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the incident was “just shattering” and “unthinkably heartbreaking. “
“Young children on a fun day out, together with their families and it turns to such horrific tragedy, at this time of year, it just breaks your heart,” he said, according to the AFP. I want to express my condolences to all the families, friends and parents who attended these events. It is also important to note that you will have great friends and a great support system to help you get through the tragedy. “
The school had invited parents to volunteer for the event, which featured a wet play zone, a slide, an arts and crafts area, zorb balls and the bouncy castle.
“The day’s purpose is to enjoy fun activities with fellow classmates and celebrate a successful school year.” Hillcrest Primary posted the event on their Facebook page ..
That post was followed by the update: “There has been an accident on site at our school. The school will be closed for the remainder of the day. “
We ask parents to come and collect their children immediately. “
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