The first victims of a bouncy castle accident in Australia have been identified.
Five pupils were killed and another three left in critical condition when the inflatable was thrown 30ft in the air by a freak gust of wind.
Zane, a pupil from Hillcrest Primary School on the island of Tasmania, was named by friends and family as one of the victims.
They praised him as a “beautiful, caring, gentle soul” following his death during end-of-term celebrations ahead of the Christmas holidays.
Addison, also believed to be a pupil in Year 6, was also identified by family who described her as “a sweet, kind, old soul” in online tributes.
They died alongside three of their classmates, thought to be aged between 10 and 12, when they fell from the bouncy castle on to the school sports field during a party around 10am on Thursday, Dec. 16.
Three others of the same age are currently in hospital in critical condition.
“On a day when these children were meant to be celebrating their last day of primary school, instead we’re all mourning their loss,” Tasmania Police Commissioner Darren Hine said.
“Our hearts are breaking for the families and the loved ones, schoolmates, teachers of these young people who were taken too soon.”
Detectives are investigating how many children were on the jumping castle when the tragedy unfolded.
“It’s an emotional day for everyone who is tragically impacted by today,” Commissioner Hine said.
“I’ve already seen pictures of police officers quite upset, as you’d expect. Any emergency services and teachers, everyone is affected in some way.”
A schoolboy who watched the horrific scene unfold revealed he was almost involved in the tragedy.
He told The Mercury: “It was our turn next. Grade five and six went first.”