"It is easier to build a strong child than to repair a broken man." - Frederick Douglass

Bouncy Castle Accident Kills Six Children [Update]

Bouncy Castle
Courtesy of Peter Corbett (Flickr CC0)

Tragically, a bouncy castle accident killed six children and left another three children in critical condition on the island state of Tasmania in Australia. On Thursday, December 16, the children of Hillcrest Primary School in Devonport were celebrating their last day in primary school at an event that included water activities, dancing, games, arts and crafts, zorb balls (a large inflated, flexible plastic ball that a person can climb inside of) and a bouncy castle when a strong gust of wind lifted the bouncy castle and zorb balls 33 feet into the air. As a result, nine children, ranging in age from 11 to 12, fell from more than 30 feet in the air, leaving four children dead and another five in critical condition. Two of the five injured children later died in the hospital, confirmed local police.

Bouncy Castle
Courtesy of Kim Davies (Flickr CC0)

It is unknown what caused the gust of wind that destroyed so many lives. However, police are conducting a thorough investigation, including whether the inflatable apparatus was adequately staked to the ground.

“Inflatable bounce houses are not without risk with 12 deaths being reported to the U.S. government agency from 2003-2013,” according to The Consumer Product Safety Commission report gathered by Fox News. It is suggested that these inflatable structures should not be used on days where wind exceeds 15 to 25 mph.

Since the wind in Tasmania was reported to be between 9 to 14 mph that day, police are focusing their investigation on whether the structure was tethered to the ground at all. If reports find that the bouncy castle was not appropriately staked, parents of the victims could launch a civil lawsuit against the company that provided the structure, as not doing so is highly irresponsible, regardless of the weather conditions.

Since the incident, a local supporter of the city of Devonport named Zoe Smith started a GoFundMe page that has raised over $225,000. “All funds will go to the families of the children who were tragically killed and injured to not only support them but provide them with much-needed gifts in this time of such sadness,” claims Smith.

Counseling services are also being made available to all those affected by this tragedy. The world mourns with the citizens of Devonport and the island state of Tasmania, as what was meant to be a fun celebration for the students of Hillcrest Primary School ended in a terrible, unforgettable tragedy.

Written by Hyleia Kidd
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware

Sources:

CNN: Five children dead and four injured after wind lifts bouncy castle into the air; by Cheryl Ho
Fox News: Bouncy castle accident kills 5 children during school celebration: ‘Our hearts are breaking; by Nicole Pelletiere
Yahoo! News: 5 children die in bouncy castle accident in Australia
CNN: Bouncy castle tragedy claims sixth child after 11-year-old boy dies in hospital; by Hilary Whiteman and Akanksha Sharma

Top and Featured Image Courtesy of Peter Corbett’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Kim Davies’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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