Several children killed in an unexpected accident at a primary school in Tasmania, Australia

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An horrific accident happened on Thursday at a primary school in Devonport, a small port city with under 30,000 residents in Tasmania, when children and staff were enjoying their last day of the school year with fun activities. “A wind gust had reportedly caused a jumping castle and inflatable balls to lift into the air,” Tasmanian Police Commissioner Darren Hine said. Five children, girls and boys, have died and four others are seriously injured after falling from 10m (32ft). The students were in grades 5 and 6, between the ages of 10 and 12. Paramedics arrived quickly at Hillcrest Primary School after the accident. Emergency services, including multiple helicopters and ambulances were rushed to the school. Four children were initially pronounced dead and a fifth child later died in hospital.

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News of the incident was met with an outpouring of grief from across the country. The parents rushed to the school gate to pick up their children. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the accident as “unthinkably heartbreaking”. Tasmanian premier Peter Gutwein said it was “simply inconceivable that this shocking tragedy has occurred”. Support and counseling was being made available to all of those involved, including to emergency service workers. A coroner’s investigation was under way. The incident is being investigated by the Tasmanian police and the state’s occupational safety regulator WorkSafe. A vigil has been set up at the Devonport Uniting Church. Flowers have also been placed outside the school gates. There have been previously other fatal bouncy castle incidents but in other countries: China the UK and the U.S.