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Freak accident in China kills 2 children, injures 20 after dust devil tosses bounce house high into the air

By Ashley Williams, AccuWeather staff writer
April 01, 2019, 2:39:47 PM EDT

What should've been a fun afternoon for a group of children in central China on Sunday quickly turned into chaos and tragedy after a large dust devil swept an inflatable bounce house high into the air while children were playing inside.

Two children were killed in the freak accident, which was captured on video as it happened in Tianmiao Town, Henan Province, around 3 p.m. local time on March 31, according to The South China Morning Post.

Airborne bounce house

A powerful dust devil blew away an inflatable bouncy in central China’s Shangqiu City, killing at least two children.The dramatic video shows an inflatable bouncy castle being blown into the air by the dust devil and nearby people fleeing away quickly as the vortex lifts up various small objects. (Reuters)

The terrifying scene occurred at a tourist attraction that was packed with visitors. In a video posted online, people could be seen falling as powerful wind gusts and dust tossed the castle into the sky and sent dust and debris flying. According to the South China Morning Post, a bystander can be heard shouting in horror, “There’s a child falling," as the inflatable structure went airborne.

“The nature of this accident is also not yet known, as it is still unclear whether … it was an incident partly caused by human factors,” said Shi Jinghan, an official with the county government who told media that two children died at the scene of the accident, the Post reported.

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Two adults and 18 other children were reportedly hurt when the large bounce house became airborne, with one child in serious condition. Local authorities said the others that were injured were receiving treatment for minor injuries.

The dust devil was about 32.8 feet (10 meters) in diameter, according to the Henan Provincial Meteorological Observatory, and lasted about four minutes, Chinese news channel CGTN reported.

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