On December 16, tragedy struck the city of Davenport in the northwest of Tasmania. Five children died Thursday, at a school end-of-year celebration when a bouncy castle was lifted into the air by strong winds. Three boys and one girl aged 12 years, and a girl aged 11 fell more than 10 meters to the ground. Another three children remain in the hospital in critical condition. Another injured child was discharged from the hospital.
More than 40 students from grade five and six were taking part in the event. It was reported that teachers and other adults administered first aid to the victims before the arrival of EMS professionals. The other children were escorted away from the site of the accident. Authorities have stated that the parents of the victims do not wish to speak publicly, but other relatives have posted memorials online.
While the small coastal city of less than 30,000 people grieve one of the deadliest accidents Australia has seen involving an amusement ride. Australian authorities are starting a formal investigation regarding the accidents and the actions taken beforehand.”The tragedy which occurred yesterday is beyond comprehension. It is devastating, heartbreaking. It is just simply incomprehensible.- “What should have been a celebration for the end of the school year turned into an unfortunate tragedy for our young children,” Tasmania state Premier Peter Gutwein told reporters.
The police as well as workplace investigators will join forces in order to determine if the appropriate safety measures were taken. It is unclear how a tragedy of such magnitude could happen on a mostly calm and sunny day. According to the Australian weather bureau the wind speeds were within 7km/h and 22kp/h which is considered average. One of the main questions the Australian authorities are asking is if safety tethers were anchored to the ground at the time of the wind gush. How high the castle was lifted and the direction of the wind remain unanswered.