A fun day during an event at the end of the school year turned frightening Tuesday when an inflatable slide flipped over and injured several children at an elementary school in Long Island, New York.
Fourteen kids between the ages of 6 and 7 at Lafrancis Hardiman Elementary School were thrown into nearby tennis courts, prompting first responders to rush to the scene. One child suffered a broken leg.
Eleven people were treated on site, while seven were taken to the hospital, Suffolk Deputy Fire Coordinator Paul Miller said, according to NBC New York affiliate WNBC, which also reported that 14 people were on the slide at the time.
Authorities say the attraction had an uneven weight distribution.
“Several students were transported by ambulance to the hospital for observation and treatment as needed,” Wyandanch Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gina Talbert said in a statement.
“We recognize this is a very scary event witnessed by our young scholars, staff, and families and we are deeply concerned about how this could have happened. The district has immediately initiated a thorough investigation, including working with the company who provided the inflatables, into the cause of this situation. We will provide more information as available.
Employees of the company who installed the slide declined to comment on the matter.
Nearly 83,000 children have been hurt in accidents on inflatable slides and bounce houses between 2015 and 2019, pediatric healthcare system Children’s Health of Orange County reported in April.
There are ways to curb any possible accidents. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends bounce houses should be used when winds do not exceed 15 to 25 miles per hour. Also, children of the same age and size should only be jumping in the attraction at the same time, and the houses should be tethered to the ground on a flat, even surface.