Two children are undergoing surgery after being injured when a “freak gust of wind” blew a jumping castle they were playing on seven metres in the air.
A 10-year-old suffered a head injury and was unconscious when paramedics arrived at the scene, and both children are said to have suffered multiple fractures to their arms and legs in the accident that happened at Tabbita, near Griffith, in New South Wales.
Emergency crews were called to a property on Sunday afternoon after the jumping castle became airborne, injuring a 10-year-old boy and girl who were playing on it.
“The owners put up the jumping castle during the day and the conditions were fine, no great winds or anything,” Murrumbidgee Police Superintendent Craig Ireland said.
“Without any warning, a sudden gust of wind – a whirlwind almost – managed to pick up the jumping castle along with the children.
“The jumping castle was pegged to the ground using six metal pegs so they’ve done what’s generally necessary with these sorts of things, but it was a freak gust of wind that caused the issue.”
The children were flown to Wagga Wagga Base Hospital in a serious but stable condition.
“It’s traumatic for everyone involved and my thoughts go out to the children who are in hospital undergoing surgery,” Superintendent Ireland said.
“I’m told both children have multiple fractures to their arms and legs so they’ll be in for a lengthy recovery, but hopefully all goes well.”
Ambulance New South Wales Inspector Markus Zarins said the incident happened during a family gathering at the property with up to 30 people.
“This would have been a terrifying experience for everyone at the scene,” Mr Zarins said.
“The jumping castle really took off, landing a few hundred metres away from its initial location.”
Jumping castle accidents infrequent
Kidsafe NSW playground manager Kim Cook said while incidents like this could occur, they were infrequent.
“Thankfully, it’s actually quite unusual and it’s only something we hear of during freak weather events,” she said.
“Unfortunately these children encountered a freak weather event on the weekend.”
She said jumping castles came with clear instructions for set-up and it was important that parents followed instructions and supervised children when they are playing.