Four children have died and five others critically injured after falling more than 30 feet from a jumping castle that was lifted into the air by a gust of wind at a school in Australia, the authorities said.
The accident occurred about 10 a.m. at Hillcrest Primary School in Devonport, on the Australian island state of Tasmania, Al Jazeera reports.
The network quoted police officials confirming that two girls and two boys, all in year 6, died in the tragedy on Thursday morning.
“A wind gust had reportedly caused the jumping castle and inflatable balls to lift into the air,” Tasmanian Police Commissioner Darren Hine said.
“Our hearts are breaking for the families and the loved ones, schoolmates, teachers of these young people who were taken too soon,” he added.
Thursday is the last day of the school year for most Tasmanian children, and the school was having a “big day in” to celebrate.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the accident as “unthinkably heartbreaking”.
“Young children having a fun day out at school and it all went horribly wrong. I cannot begin to imagine what those families are feeling. It’s just shattering.
“My deepest condolences and prayers are with the family and friends of the children who lost their lives, as well as with the injured and all those who witnessed this terrible event, including the school staff,” he wrote on Facebook.
There have been other fatal bouncy castle incidents. In 2019, two children were killed and 20 others injured in a similar accident in China.
In 2018, a girl died in the UK after being thrown from a bouncy castle that eyewitnesses say exploded on a Norfolk beach.
Two years earlier, two fairground workers were jailed for manslaughter by gross negligence after a bouncy castle blew away a seven-year-old in England.