A bounce house and inflatable slide went airborne at a church festival, injuring five children

Media: National Desk US

A 6-year-old girl was killed and six other children injured in Spain when a bouncy castle broke away from its mooring, soared more than 30 feet in the air and may have exploded, according to local reports aggregated by Time.

The children, between the ages of 3 and 11, were playing in the inflatable house Sunday at a restaurant in the northwest coastal town of Caldes de Malavella when the accident occurred. The Spanish news site El Paisreported that all seven were tossed out of the castle while it was between 32 and 65 feet in the air.

The town’s mayor told El Pais that witnesses said the castle floated up, and some heard an explosion, which ejected the children into the air. In addition to the the girl who was killed, two other children were seriously injured. The rest of the kids suffered only minor cuts and bruises, which would seem to contradict the account that they were hurled from the house at a height of 32 feet or greater.

It was not clear whether a gust of wind or another explanation was responsible for the bounce house becoming airborne.

Pieces of the inflatable reportedly were found about 120 feet away on the roof of the restaurant and in treetops.

According to the Child Injury Prevention Alliance, a child is injured in a bounce house once every 45 minutes, about 30 per day. The injuries often include broken bones and concussions.

High winds picking up and violently tossing the inflatable houses have increasingly resulted in severe injury and even death in recent years:

  • June 2011, Nassau County, New York: Three bounce houses were lifted and rolled by a gust of wind, injuring 13 people.
  • May 2014, South Glens Fall, New York: Two kindergartners were seriously injured when they fell from a bounce house after it was picked up by a wind gust that blew them as far as 50 feet into the air. One child landed on a parked car, and another on asphalt.
  • May 2014, Jefferson County, Colorado: A bounce house was blown 300 feet, throwing out a 10-year-old girl immediately. An 11-year-old boy was injured as the bounce house continued to be blown and flipped more than 300 feet.
  • October 2014, Nashua, New Hampshire: Two brothers, 2 and 3 years old, were hospitalized, the younger in critical condition, after the bounce house they were in at a Halloween festival was swept 30 feet into the air before crashing into an orchard. The bounce house owner was charged with several misdemeanors for operating improperly.
  • June 2015, Guangxi, China: A 3-year-old girl was killed at a birthday party when she fell from a bounce castle that was lifted by a gust of wind.
  • March 2016, Essex, England. A 7-year-old daughter who was fatally injured when a gust of wind carried off the bouncy castle she was playing in. Police arrested a 24-year-old woman and a 27-year-old man on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence.

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