FOUR CHILDREN have died and several others have been injured in Australia after falling from an inflatable bouncy castle that had been blown into the air.
The incident happened at a primary school sports day in Devonport, Tasmania, with police confirming the deaths of two boys and two girls at 4.30pm.
Five other children have been seriously injured.
The nine Grade 5/6 Hillcrest Primary School students "fell from a height of around 10 metres after a significant local wind event caused a jumping castle and several inflatable 'zorb' balls to lift into the air about 10am," a police statement said.
Police and emergency services, including two helicopters rushed to the scene within minutes and began administering first aid to the children who range in ages from 10 to 12.
"On a day where these children were meant to be celebrating their last day at primary school, instead we are all mourning their loss," Commissioner Darren Hine said.
"Our hearts are breaking for the families and loved ones, school mates and teachers of those children taken too soon.
"Our thoughts are with the staff of Hillcrest Primary School and wider school community as well as those emergency services who attended the scene as first responders.
"We will be doing everything we can to support the community – and each other – through this tragedy."
Support and counselling are being made available to all those involved, including emergency service workers.
"Our focus right now is on supporting our community, and all those affected," Commissioner Hine said.
"The loss of any child impacts significantly on our community and this tragedy is understandably distressing for us all.
"This incident will impact all of us in different ways so it’s important that we all look after each other at this difficult time."
Prime Minister for Australia Scott Morrison tweeted to say his heart is breaking for all those impacted by the tragedy.
"My prayers are with the family and friends of the children who lost their lives, the injured, the first responders and all those who witnessed this deeply distressing event," he said.
In 2016, a seven-year old girl died in Essex when a bouncy castle blew away with her inside it, leading to the imprisonment of two fair ground workers for three years for manslaughter.
In 2018, a girl died in the UK after being thrown from a bouncy castle that eyewitnesses say exploded on a Norfolk beach.
A year later, two children were killed and 20 others injured in a similar accident in China.