Jumping castle horror: 4 children dead, several injured after freak accident

Dec 16, 2021
Hillcrest Primary School tragedy. Source: @montebovill/Twitter

Four children have passed away, and many more are in critical condition in hospital, after falling from a jumping castle that was blown 10 metres into the air at an end of year event at a Tasmanian primary school.

Hillcrest Primary School, near Devonport in Tasmania, was holding an end of year, last day of school celebration for its students, called the Big Day In with jumping castles, zorb balls, a slippery slide and a wet play zone as part of the fun. During the celebration, a freak wind gust blew a jumping castle high into the air. Several children were thrown from the castle, falling approximately 10 metres.

Hillcrest Primary School promptly released a statement saying: “There has been an accident onsite at our school. We are closing the school for the rest of the day. We ask that parents come to collect their children as a matter of urgency.”

Tasmania Police have released three statements as this incident unfolds. The first was released at 10.45am local time, and said:

“Police and emergency services are responding to a serious incident at Hillcrest Primary School in Devonport, after a wind event caused a jumping castle to lift into the air.

“Several children fell from a height of about ten metres around 10am and are currently receiving medical treatment at the scene. Some serious injuries have occurred.

“The Westpac Rescue Helicopter is on its way to the scene.

“Please avoid the area to allow emergency services to respond.”

At 12.15 pm local time, Tasmania Police released a second statement outlining the events:

“Police and emergency services remain on the scene of a serious incident at Hillcrest Primary School in Devonport, after a wind event caused a jumping castle to lift into the air.

“Several children fell from a height of about 10 metres around 10am and are currently receiving medical treatment at the scene as well as in hospitals. Sadly, one child has died and a number of others are critical. Our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of those involved. No further details about the fatality can be released at this stage for privacy reasons.

“Several helicopters are responding to the incident to transport patients.

“Please avoid the area to allow emergency services to respond.”

The third statement from Tasmania Police confirmed the worst. Released at 1.43pm local time, it simply said:

“Tragically police can confirm two children have died as a result of an incident at Hillcrest Primary School around 10am this morning.”

Ambulance Tasmania, and Department of Health Tasmania also released statements about their attendance at the tragedy:

ABC journalist Monte Bovill tweeted from the scene:

The ABC reported that attending police “had been seen crying and embracing at the scene and many parents arrived at the school not knowing if their child had been affected”.

 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has tweeted his condolences, saying:

 

More to come as this tragic story unfolds.

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