By Sonali Paul
MELBOURNE – An 11-year-old boy died on Sunday from a jumping castle accident four days ago in Australia’s island state Tasmania, taking the death toll from the tragedy to six children, police said.
The children fell 10 metres (33 feet) to the ground after an inflated jumping castle was lifted into the air in a gust of wind at an end-of-year celebration at a primary school in Devonport in the northwest of the state on Thursday.
“We all feel this terrible loss,” Tasmania Premier Peter Gutwein said at a media conferene.
Three boys and one girl aged 12 years and one boy and one girl aged 11 have now lost their lives. Two children remain in critical condition, police said, and one is recovering at home.
Police said it was too early to say when they would complete an investigation into the cause of the accident and need to respect grieving families and the school community.
“We don’t want to rush it, but we also understand that the community wants answers,” Tasmania Police Commissioner Darren Hine told reporters.
The state has called in help from New South Wales state police to help interview the other grade five and six children who were at the event.
An online fundraiser to support the victims’ families has raised nearly A$1.3 million ($926,000) over the past three days from people all over the country and abroad.
($1 = 1.4037 Australian dollars)