HONG KONG -- Five children died in Australia on Thursday after wind lifted the bouncy castle they were in about 32 feet into the air, local police said.
Nine children were in the castle at about 10 a.m. local time when it fell to the ground, Tasmania Police said in a statement. The students at Hillcrest Primary School had been celebrating the end of the school year, the statement said.
“On a day where these children were meant to be celebrating their last day at primary school, instead we are all mourning their loss,” Police Commissioner Darren Hine said.
Two girls and two boys were killed, police said in an initial statement. Another five children with serious injuries were rushed to the hospital, where one later died, police said. Three children were still in serious condition at about 1 a.m. local time. The students were in 5th and 6th grade, officials said.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison called the incident "unthinkably heartbreaking."
"Young children on a fun day out together with their families and it turns to such horrific tragedy, at this time of year, it just breaks your heart," Morrison said.
Police said a "significant local wind event" caused the castle to lift about 10 meters, or 32 feet, off the ground.
Two helicopters and other emergency vehicles rushed to the scene in Devonport within minutes of the incident, police said.
“The loss of any child impacts significantly on our community and this tragedy is understandably distressing for us all," Hine said. “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.”
Police said they've launched an investigation with help from WorkSafe Tasmania, the country's workplace-safety regulator.