Jumping Castle Goes Airborne With Two Kids Inside

PHOTO Jumping Castle
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A dust devil lifted a jumping castle containing two children approximately 15 feet into the air Saturday and blew it across three lanes of traffic before it landed in the median of a busy highway in Tucson, Ariz.

Emergency teams from the Tucson fire department were called to rescue the boy and girl who were in the jumping castle at the time.

Both children, who were said to be between the ages of 7 and 10, were taken to a hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

The incident occurred at a children's festival at the Arabian Oasis cultural center at approximately 2 p.m. Saturday when a strong whirlwind formed behind the castle.

Bill Pace, director of Arabian Oasis, told ABC News' Tucson affiliate KGUN-TV that he ran over and tried to stop the castle from soaring away, but was knocked to the ground by the strong winds.

"The castle flew over me and over our cyclone fence, and the about 8 to 10 feet height of the fence, across three lanes of Speedway Boulevard, into the median," Pace said.

"It just absolutely lifted it up. If the wind was strong enough to certainly put me on the ground that means it's a very strong wind," he said.

Pace told KGUN he suffered scrapes and bruises from being knocked over by the jumping castle.

The inflatable attraction was tethered to the ground with several large stakes by rental company workers, and Pace told KGUN-9 that he thought it was secure.

This is the second time a jumping castle has gone airborne with children inside in Pima County, Ariz. this year.

Two young girls were in a bounce house that blew over a fence and onto a roof on Feb. 19. In that incident, one of the girls was seriously injured and the other suffered minor injuries.

Both have since recovered and are doing well, KGUN reported.

As a safety precaution, Fire Department officials say that those who set up similar inflatable castles and other attractions should ensure the anchorage system is in place, and that the equipment is not worn before signing a release for the equipment.

"Just take precaution," Tucson Fire Department spokeswoman Tricia Tracy said. "it's everybody's responsibility to make sure the children are safe and adult supervision is the best way to do that."

It is also recommended that jumping castles are deflated under windy conditions.

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