Warning: This story may be distressing for some readers.
Six children have died and two remain in a critical condition following a jumping castle accident at a primary school in northwest Tasmania on Thursday.
Hillcrest Primary School, in Devonport, was holding a 'Big Day In' celebration attended by 40 Year 5 and Year 6 students to mark the end of the school year, when a wind gust lifted a jumping castle and several inflatable Zorb balls into the air.
Tasmania Police said a number of children fell from a height of about 10 metres.
The six children who lost their lives have been formally identified, and the photos shared with permission from their families. Their names are Addison Stewart, 11, Zane Mellor, 12, Jye Sheehan, 12, Jalailah Jayne-Maree Jones, 12, Peter Dodt, 12. The latest child to pass has been identified as 11-year-old Chase Harrison.
Two more children are in hospital and remain in a critical condition. Another child has been discharged and is recovering at home.
"These children were meant to be celebrating their last day of primary school, instead we're all mourning their loss," said Tasmanian Police Commissioner Darren Hine.
"Our hearts are breaking for the families and the loved ones, schoolmates, teachers, of these young people who were taken too soon."
Devastating news. Another child has died following the jumping castle tragedy in Tasmania’s north-west. It’s an incident that has now claimed the lives of six young Tasmanians @abcnews pic.twitter.com/zy2iWM5jar— Monte Bovill (@MonteBovill) December 19, 2021
The school was closed, and parents rushed to collect their children after the fatal accident.
Tasmania's Education Department will provide support to children, families and staff in the coming days and into the school holidays. Counselling has also been offered to first responders.