The incident occurred on a beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, when a waterspout caused the inflatable “bounce house” (as the Americans call it) to fly into the air and tumble back down – with children inside. An onlooker filmed the disaster and the incredible footage shows the terrifying moment the bouncy castle is lifted into the air, before crashing into a car park across the road.
The serious incident resulted in three children being rushed to hospital; two were treated for minor injuries and one was kept in overnight for observation. Everyone involved has been extremely lucky to only come away with minor injuries, considering the height the bouncy castle was lifted and how it tumbled down to the ground. There is also a four lane road nearby which the inflatable could have landed on and caused even further injuries. Thankfully, no pedestrians or vehicles were hit when the bouncy castle was lifted above trees and the roads.
One witness describes lying on the ground as the bouncy castle came right over them. They watched the bounce house get picked up by the waterspout and snap a basketball hoop.
The Police spokesman for the incident said, “They were immediately dropped out of the bounce house onto the sand.”
The entire incident was captured by an onlooker on the beach, Brandon Burchett, and the footage can be watched on The Metro website. It has to be seen to be believed, and hopefully the video will raise awareness of the dangers faced by inflatables and safety measures which need to be in place.
With three children seriously injured, in what could have been a much worse scenario, parents are hoping bouncy castle companies will learn from this incident. Weather conditions can change rapidly, and even a slight gust of wind can send inflatables flying. Rental companies need to completely assess the weather conditions before inflating bouncy castles, and continue to assess changing conditions throughout the day. While it may result in a loss of business or grumpy children if the inflatable is closed for an hour – it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Rental companies can keep themselves protected from any accidents with a comprehensive bouncy castle insurance policy.