They may be a popular birthday party attraction, but as one upstate New York community learned this week, bouncy castles (or ‘bounce houses,’ as they’re sometimes referred to) can be anything but fun when the wind picks up.
Two young boys and a girl were injured Monday afternoon in South Glens Falls, NY when a runaway Little Tykes brand ‘bouncer’ was blown more than 15 meters into the air with all three children inside.
PostStar.com reports that the unidentified boys, ages 5 and 6, were taken to hospital where they were treated for serious injuries while the girl, 10, suffered minor scrapes.
“It was like a horror movie,” said eye-witness Taylor Seymour, who lives in the apartment building where the accident occurred. “It just kept going up and up. It cleared our building and the trees.”
Set up by an apartment complex resident for neighbourhood children to use, the bounce house had been affixed to the ground with stakes before strong winds blew it free.
According to Seymour, the wind picked the structure up and “spun it around as if it was in a small tornado,” tossing one boy onto the street and another onto the back of a parked car.
The 10-year-old girl was able to escape from the house as it was being lifted into the air.
Witnesses say the house was nearly 5 meters into the air when both boys fell out of it, as the structure was not enclosed at the top.
“My older daughters witnessed it and said it was just horrible,” said the girl’s mother, who PostStar.com not to identify her. “A big gust of wind just blew it right off the ground with the kids in it. It’s just sickening.”
According to police, the mid-sized bounce house was recovered at a nearby middle school — but not before a student at that particular school, Emily Boucher, could snap a picture of it floating through the air.