Australian PM Scott Morrison said the accident was ‘unthinkably heartbreaking’
Five children have died and five others are badly injured after a bouncy castle they were playing on during an end-of-year celebration at a primary school 在 Tasmania was blown up into the air by strong winds.
The police said a gust of wind lifted the bouncy castle into the air and the children playing inside fell from a height of about 10 米.
“A wind event caused a jumping castle to lift into the air,” Tasmania police said in its initial statement.
The fifth and sixth-grade students were paying during their last day of term at Hillcrest Primary School in Devonport when the freak accident took place.
Emergency services, including two helicopters, were rushed to the school to transport the children to the hospital.
Australian prime minister Scott Morrison said the accident was “unthinkably heartbreaking” and extended an offer of support to the local administration.
欢迎来到 独立报 live blog of the deadly accident involving a bouncy castle in Tasmania, Australia on Thursday 16 十二月.
Five children have died and four others are in a critical condition after the bouncy castle they were playing on was blown away by strong winds in Tasmania, 澳大利亚.
Police said a gust of wind lifted the bouncy castle into the air and that “several children” then fell to the ground from a height of about 10 米 (32 脚).
Tasmanian Police Commissioner Darren Hine said among those who died in the accident were two boys and two girls, all in year six, likely meaning they were aged 10 或者 11 岁.
Commander Debbie Williams from Tasmania Police said in an earlier statement: “This is a very tragic event and our thoughts are with the families and the wider school community, and also our first responders.”
Children fell from height of 10 metres after inflatable castle they were playing on was blown up into the air
PM Morrison calls incident ‘unthinkably heartbreaking’
Australian prime minister 斯科特·莫里森 said the accident was “unthinkably heartbreaking” and shattering.
“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,“ 他加了.
“I just want to say, to the parents and families and friends, all who were there, to the other young children there… I just pray you’ll have great family around you and great friends and you can come through this horrific tragedy,” Mr Morrison added.
Mr Morrison has spoken to Tasmania’s premier Peter Gutwein, who was on his way to Devonport, to offer the government’s support.
State premier says incident ‘simply inconceivable’
Tasmania state premier Peter Gutwein has issued a statement about the bouncy castle incident, calling it “simply inconceivable”.
Here’s his statement in full:
“Today’s tragedy at Hillcrest Primary school in Devonport is utterly devastating and heartbreaking for all involved.
“It is difficult for me to find the right words in such tragic circumstances in which very sadly five children have passed away, three are in a critical condition and one is in a serious condition in hospital.
“I am certain that I speak for all Tasmanians in extending my deepest sympathies to the family, friends, and loved ones of everyone affected by this tragedy.
“For the four children who remain in hospital, our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families during this difficult time.
“On a day when school children are celebrating the end of term, so close to Christmas, it is simply inconceivable that this shocking tragedy has occurred.
“Tasmania Police remain on the scene, along with Worksafe Tasmania investigators, and these tragic circumstances will be fully and thoroughly investigated.
“We stand ready to provide whatever support we can to the families directly impacted, the students, staff, the broader community, and emergency services and our first responders who I know have also been deeply impacted.
“I know that this is a strong and caring community that will stand together and support one another with love and kindness to get through this.
“I know that I speak for all Tasmanians when I say that we all will stand with you through this difficult time.
“My heart goes out to everyone impacted by this tragic event.”
Police and WorkSafe investigations underway
While the police have provided tallies of how many died and were injured in the accident on Thursday morning, it remains unclear how many children were playing on the bouncy castle at the time.
Attention is also inevitably turning towards how this incident happened.
Speaking earlier at the scene, Tasmanian Police Commissioner Darren Hine said the investigation would take some time to complete, and it would later be passed to the coroner for an inquest.
Mr Hine said there were unfortunately a number of witnesses to the incident who needed to be interviewed.
As well as the police probe, an investigation by the health and safety regulator WorkSafe Tasmania is also underway.
Bouncy Castle ‘ended up in a tree’
The bouncy castle at Hillcrest school ended up in a tree some 50 metres from its original position, according to the account of one of the first journalists to arrive on the scene.
ABC reporter Monte Bovill told ABC radio that he arrived at the scene at the same time as many family members.
“When I first arrived parents were just running, running down the street screaming,“ 他说.
Bovill took a photograph at the scene of emergency workers comforting each other, which has been widely shared online:
‘Community in shock’
Beverley Dobson, who lives next to the school and has neighbours with children who attend, said the community was in shock after the incident.
She told Australia’s The Age newspaper that she had discussed the bouncy castle beforehand with her neighbour’s granddaughter.
“She was telling [my husband] and I how excited she was about having the jumping castle at school and to have a good day,” Ms Dobson said.
“I rang [her grandmother] and she said to me, ‘I’m here, Bev, I’m at the school [after the incident]’.
“She texted me in a few minutes time and said, ‘I’ve got her’.
“We don’t have these things every day … and when there are children involved and it’s so close to Christmas and everything, it’s just terribly sad.”
Vigil organised for the children
The Devonport Uniting Church, located about 2.5 km from the accident spot, has set up a vigil for the deceased children.
Several locals from the community showed up to light candles in tribute to the children and laid flowers outside the school gates.“
To have such a tragedy in our school community, it is still really hard to get your head around,” Annette Rockliff, the Devonport City Council mayor, 告诉 9News.
MP for for Lyons offers condolences
Member of Australian Parliament Brian Mitchell extended his condolences to the bereaved community.
He wrote on Twitter: “My thoughts are with the families grieving lost children, with the injured children and their families, and with a shattered community”.