Like a scene from a movie, a day of fun became a day of absolute horror when two young boys from upstate New York were critically injured after falling out of a “bounce house” that went airborne, due to gusty winds. On Monday, the boys, ages 5 and 6, were playing in a yard near their South Glen Falls apartment building when the incident occurred. Both boys are currently recovering in the hospital.
According to police statements and eyewitness reports, the bounce house — an inflatable structure that children play and bounce inside of — was hit by a “sudden and strong gust of wind” that sent it hurling into the air with the two boys and another young girl inside, aged 10. She was standing near the entrance of the bounce house and fell out as it went skyward. She suffered scrapes and a minor shoulder injury, but was not hospitalized.
After being lifted nearly 15 feet into the air from the powerful winds, the young boys fell out. The six-year-old landed on the street nearby and is said to have suffered a serious head injury. The five-year-old landed on a parked car in an adjacent parking lot and is said to have broken both arms and received facial injuries. The boys were airlifted to Albany Medical Center in upstate New York for their serious injuries.
Stephanie Hansen, a witness to the incident, says that the person who set up the bounce house seemed to follow all of the instructions correctly. He was just as surprised as everyone when the bounce house flew into the air.
“It was the saddest thing, he was blaming himself,” she told CNN. “He did everything right, it was just a freak thing.”
While the investigation is still pending, police gathered that all precautions were taken to ensure the safety of the children playing in the bounce house. It was properly staked to the ground and there were adults present to watch over the children.
Injuries to children while playing in bounce houses are on the rise, according to many reports. In 2011, gusts of winds blew away a set of bounce houses at a Long Island, New York soccer club event for youngsters. 13 people were treated for minor injuries at local hospitals.
The accident on Monday may have come as a surprise to most as the weather was not a harsh element. However, it still was very much a part of the equation that led to the incident. Light winds were reported from the Glen Falls weather reporting station. At most, they were blowing at around 5 to 10 miles per hour.
Little Tikes, the company which manufactured the bounce house, said that they were looking into the matter, as they too had questions regarding “what happened in South Glen Falls”. They offered well wishes and prayers to the victims’ and their families.
The New York youngsters injured in the bounce house attend the Harrison Avenue Elementary School in South Glen Falls. The superintendent said that staff was on call to help any other students deal with the incident. The names of the young boys have not been released and the families of the victims are not commenting on the matter. No charges were filed and the incident is being called a “tragic accident”.
By Jonathan Brown