A bounce house at a New Hampshire farm wasn’t tethered to the ground when it blew into the air and landed 50 to 60 feet away with two children inside, according to fire officials.
A 2-year-old boy and 3-year-old boy went to Sullivan Farm in Nashua on Sunday for apple- and pumpkin-picking, and both ended up hospitalized.
The boys were playing in a bounce house when a gust of wind blew it away.
"We see the bouncy house come up off the ground and slam right back down to the place that it was and then it takes off about 60-70 feet in the air, and it travels maybe about 100-150 feet away and slams both of our children down into the ground," said Brian, the father of one of the victims.
The 2-year-old was critically injured and flown to Tuft’s Medical in Boston, while the 3-year-old was hospitalized for injuries at St. Joseph's Hospital.
The owner of the farm said the attraction was closed while the bounce house dried out. Co-farmer Gary Bergeron told WMUR that the house was moved to a new location, inflated in order to dry out after a rainy weekend, and that hay bales were used to block it off.
The boys’ parents told WMUR they asked a farm hand how much tickets cost to use the bounce house, and they said it was free and open. They claim no one made any indication that it was closed to the public.
“There was no sign saying it was closed,” said parent Ron Perry. “There was animals there to pet. There was no indication that it was closed. And again, like I said, I asked how much was it and they said it was free.”
A representative from Sullivan farm reportedly denied that anyone working or volunteering at the farm gave any visitors permission to use the bounce house.
"This is so unfortunate," Bergeron said "It wasn't meant to be used. I just hope the kids are OK."
Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons / Louis Beche