Tasmania police released the victims’ names as:
Addison Stewart, 11 years.
Zane Mellor, 12 years.
Jye Sheehan, 12 years.
Jalailah Jayne-Maree Jones, 12 years.
Peter Dodt, 12 years.
BBC reported that the accident was caused by a “wind gust.”
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, in a news conference posted to the BBC website, that the events that occurred are just “shattering” and are “unthinkably heartbreaking.” Young children were out with their families and “it turns” to horrific tragedy.
On his Facebook page, the PM wrote, “My heart is breaking for those families and children impacted by the tragedy at Hillcrest Primary School in Devonport, Tasmania…Young children having a fun day out at school and it all went horribly wrong. I cannot begin to imagine what those families are feeling. It’s just shattering.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Police Say a ‘Significant Local Wind Event’ Led to the Deaths in the ‘Jumping Castle’
In a statement posted to their Facebook page, Tasmanian police wrote, “An absolute tragedy is the only way to describe this event.”
They revealed: “Five children have died, and another three remain in hospital after a significant local wind event reportedly caused a jumping castle and several inflatable ‘zorb’ balls to lift into the air yesterday morning. Police understand there were close to 40 year 5/6 students taking part in the end of term activities when the incident occurred.”
According to police, “Nine children were seriously injured; tragically five of those children have died – three boys and two girls. One girl was 11 years old; the other four children were 12 years old. Three remain in a critical condition, one is now recovering at home.”
They concluded, “There’s no doubt this incident will leave its mark. Police are continuing to investigate the matter alongside WorkSafe Tasmania, and we are preparing a report for the Coroner. Cross-agency community recovery arrangements are in place, led by the Tasmania Police Western District Commander, and police are liaising closely with the families affected. We know Tasmanians will come together to support each other at this difficult time. Our heart goes out to all those affected, and our thoughts are with them.
The Children Fell 32 Feet, According to Reports
According to the BBC, the tragedy occurred on December 16, 2021, at a “primary school fun day in Devonport, Tasmania.”
The children fell 32 feet to their deaths, the network reported. They were in sixth grade.
“A wind gust had reportedly caused the jumping castle and inflatable balls to lift into the air,” Tasmanian Police Commissioner Darren Hine said, according to BBC.
“Our hearts are breaking for the families and the loved ones, schoolmates, teachers of these young people who were taken too soon.”
According to ABC News, police are investigating whether the bouncy castle was properly “tethered to the ground.”
In a press conference, police said that several adults were present when the equipment “lifted into the air” and rendered first aid to the children.
“Tasmanians are already coming together to support each other at this very difficult time,” a police commander said in the news conference. “As a nation we are all together with the families today, in this grief,” a person wrote in the comment thread of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Facebook page.