An 11-year-old boy has been named as the sixth child to be killed in a bouncy castle accident four days ago in Australia’s island state Tasmania, police have confirmed.
The children fell 10 metres (33 feet) to the ground as they were left trapped inside an inflated bouncy castle that was lifted into the air from a gust of wind at an end-of-year celebration at Hillcrest Primary School in Devonport, in the northwest of Tasmania, on Thursday.
Australian police have now confirmed Chace Harrison, 11, is the sixth child to have died following the tragic accident.
Commissioner Darren Hine said: “It is with a heavy heart that I can confirm an 11-year-old boy passed away in hospital this afternoon.
“His name is Chace Harrison.
“Our thoughts continue to be with his family, and the families and loved ones of all the children involved, during what is an incomprehensibly difficult time.”
At least nine children were seriously injured in the incident, with two children remaining in critical conditions in the Royal Hobart Hospital, and another child recovering at home.
The other five children who died were named by police as Addison Stewart, 11, Zane Mellor, 12, Jye Sheehan, 12, Jalailah Jayne-Maree Jones, 12, and Peter Dodt, 12.
Commissioner Hine added the investigation into their deaths will take some time, before acknowledging the need to respect grieving families and the school community.
He also said the state has also called in help from New South Wales state police to help interview the other grade five and six children who were at the event.
He said: “We are working tirelessly with all parties concerned to ensure the extensive investigation is completed as a matter of priority for the Coroner.
“Their priority will be to interview all witnesses, gather and analyse forensic evidence and all environmental aspects, including weather patterns and conditions at the time of the incident.
“Given the magnitude of this critical incident and the need to speak to a large number of traumatised children within a short period of time, we have accepted an offer from NSW Police to assist in conducting interviews in relation to the investigation.”
“Community recovery arrangements are in place, and our thoughts continue to be with the families, loved ones and all those affected by this tragedy.”
“The loss of six young lives will be felt by our community for a long time – so please take care of yourselves and those around you.”
An online fundraiser to support the victims’ families has raised nearly A$1.3 million (£699,339.45) over the past three days from people all over the country and abroad.