Bouncy castle jumps in the air with people in New Zealand: New Year’s Eve in Matua
Several people were injured after a bouncy castle was thrown into the air by a violent gust of wind on New Year’s Eve and tumbled 100m above the ground before finally coming to a stop.
At least five people were injured and two were hospitalized at Matua’s New Year’s Eve celebrations on Saturday in Tauranga, New Zealand.
One person who fell from the castle “landed hard,” according to a witness. “They kind of curled up on the floor and didn’t really move.”
KC Ann Southee, who was at the Fergusson Park event with her neurodiverse children, said it was “the most terrifying night of my life”.
‘We have been there. My kids were about to jump on it and the lady working on it actually said I want a safety check first.
“Then not even a second later it started,” Ms Southee said on social media.
The bouncy castle at the Matua New Year’s Eve celebration in Tauranga, New Zealand is pictured just as the wind was about to lift it off the ground
“It was chaos. I had to jump aside with my youngest. And lost my 2 eldest in the process.’
Later on Saturday night, she said: “I’m glad my children are all safely in bed, my thoughts are with the injured.
“And I will forever be grateful to the lady who runs the bouncy castle for deciding in a split second to check it out before allowing my kids.
Because then the thing went off and hurt a lot of people.’
Witness James Mason was near the lock with his son when it began to move.
At first the bouncy castle lifted on one side and several people appeared to fall out, he told stuff.co.nz.
He saw a person fall about 10m after being ejected and yelled “my head, my head”.
Mr Mason said a doctor rushed over to treat the man while others placed blankets on him to keep him calm.
Strong gusts of wind at a community celebration in Tauranga, New Zealand, lifted a bouncy castle (pictured) into the air
He said the castle moved about 100 meters “throughout the festival” before the crowd could stop it.
Another witness, Kiri Prentice, was at the park with her family and filmed a video minutes before the bouncy castle blew away.
“You can see how strong the wind was by the flags and my mother-in-law’s hair,” she told sunlive.co.nz.
Ms Prentice said the children’s activity operators seemed very responsible, the equipment looked in very good condition and she was impressed with how they monitored the number of children going on the bouncy castle.
But during the day the wind picked up.
The bouncy castle at the Matua New Year’s Eve celebration in Tauranga is pictured (centre) tumbling across the floor
“It is obvious that wind monitoring and some rules for safe operation need to be developed for New Zealand circumstances,” she said.
A spokesman for Tauranga City Council said all inflatable devices had been closed at all community events “as soon as we were made aware of the incident”.
“Worksafe NZ has been notified and we are also conducting our own investigation.”
The horrifying scene in Tauranga brought back memories of the Hillcrest Primary School tragedy in Tasmania on December 15, 2021.
Six children – Zane Mellor, Peter Dodt, Addison Stewart, Jye Sheehan, Jalailah Jayne-Marie Jones and Chace Harrison – died after the bouncy castle at Hillcrest was lifted 10 meters into the air.
From left: Zane Mellor, Peter Dodt, Addison Stewart, Jye Sheehan and Jalailah Jayne-Marie Jones died on December 15, 2021 when a bouncy castle was lifted 10m into the air and three days later Chace Harrison (right) succumbed to his injuries
A year later, Matthew Richman, the director of health support for Ambulance Tasmania and the Department of Police, Fire and Emergency Management, said the tragedy was still being felt by many first responders.
“When Hillcrest came up, we activated our critical incident stress management team and also our broader wellbeing support team, and we had people on the ground to provide on-the-ground support very quickly,” Mr. Richman told The Mercury.
“That support has really ramped up in the first few weeks and we are extending that support for a two-year period.”
An investigation into the tragedy is ongoing and a public inquiry is also planned.
Flowers are pictured at Hillcrest Primary School in Tasmania after six children died in a bouncy castle incident on December 15, 2022
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11589657/Jumping-castle-flips-air-people-inside-New-Zealand-Matua-New-Years-Eve.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Bouncy castle jumps in the air with people in New Zealand: New Year’s Eve in Matua