Five children died after a strong “wind event” has caused the jumping castle to fall about 10 meters off the ground.
Children at Hillcrest Primary School in Devonport, on the north coast of Tasmania, Australia were attending an end-of-school activity day on Thursday, December 16, 2021, when the tragedy occurred at 10:00 am in morning.
According to the police investigation, 4 of the injured were critical after the devastating tragedy hit the jumping castle.
Darren Hine, Tasmania police commissioner said: “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.”
They added that those children who died included two boys and two girls in year 6, which would make them 10 or 11 years old, Hine said: “Five children are in the hospital, including four in critical conditions, an investigation into the accident is underway.”
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.
Initial reports stated one child had died after the incident, and police have now confirmed five have died in a devastating update. They added that four students remain in the hospital and are fighting for their lives.
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. Police also said that three of the four injured children are still in the hospital.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation already showed images of the police officers consulting each other as paramedics provide first aid to victims of the accident.
As the helicopters ferried the injured to hospitals, parents arrived at the school gates as fast as they can when they heard what happen to the said school.
Peter Gutwein, Tasmania state premier called the heart-breaking incident “simply inconceivable”. Gutwein said: “I know this is a strong and caring community that will stand together and support one another.”
Debbie Williams, Tasmania police commander told the reporters: “Several children fell from the jumping castle. It appears they may have fallen from the 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.”
Scott Morrison, Australian Prime Minister has already given his thought to the said event saying: “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.”
The School in Australia’s island state of Tasmania has already announced on Facebook that the school will close on the remaining days and ask the parents to urgently collect their children from the class.
Authorities are offering counseling services to first responders and others in the small town, home to about 30,000 people.
Williams said: “There is no doubt that this has been a very confronting and distressing scene. Counseling is being made available to the families affected by this in the school community along with the first responders.”
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