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Wind lifts bouncy castle into the air, killing 5 children and injuring 4

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Posted at 12:45 PM, Dec 16, 2021

After falling 32 feet from a bouncy castle carried into the air by wind during a school function in Australia, five children died and four others were badly injured.

When the catastrophe struck, students at Hillcrest Primary School in Devonport, Tasmania's north coast, were celebrating the end of the school year, CNN reported.

"A major local wind event caused a jumping castle and several inflatable "zorb" balls to lift into the air approximately 10 a.m., causing nine grade 5/6 Hillcrest Primary School children to fall from a height of around 10 meters," Tasmanian Police said in a statement.

Two girls and two boys are among the five children; the gender of a fifth child who died later in the hospital is unknown. Four more youngsters had significant injuries and are still in the hospital. Grade 6 students in Australia are typically between the ages of 10 and 12, according to CNN.

"On a day where these children were meant to be celebrating their last day at primary school, instead we are all mourning their loss," Commissioner Darren Hine said during a press conference Thursday afternoon.

"Our hearts are breaking for the families and loved ones, school mates and teachers of those children taken too soon," he said.

Emergency services were deployed to the school, including helicopters, to treat the injured and take them to the hospital.

"This is a very tragic event and our thoughts are with the families and the wider school community, and also our first responders," Police Commander Debbie 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," she said.

According to the school's Facebook page, the bouncy castle was one of several goodies provided to pupils as part of the "Big Day In." A Water Play Zone and Zorb Balls were among the other activities.

"I'm certain that I speak for all Tasmanians in extending my deepest sympathies to the family, friends and loved ones of everyone affected by today's tragedy," Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein said. "On a day when schoolchildren are celebrating the end of term so close to Christmas, it's simply inconceivable that this shocking incident has occurred."