CRIME
10/13/2014 05:22 am ET | Updated Oct 13, 2014

Bouncy House Flies Away; 2 Toddlers Injured, 1 Critically

Two young boys in Nashua, N.H., were injured, one critically, when the "bouncy house" they were playing in on Sunday was picked up by the wind and tossed an estimated 50 or 60 feet, according to reports.

One of the boys, age 2, was airlifted to Tufts Medical Center in Boston, while a 3-year-old was taken by ambulance to St. Joseph's Hospital.

“I saw the bouncy house fly into the air as high as the building behind me and as soon as it went up it flipped and came crashing down,” eyewitness Ellen Smith told CBS News. “It’s just a freak very, very sad incident that happened.”

The house had apparently been inflated to dry out after a rain storm, and was neither properly secured nor open to the public at the time of the incident, according to WCVB.

"It was missing spikes to go into the ground and it only had three tethers on it and it's supposed to have four," farmer Gary Bergeron, who owns the bouncy house, told WHDH.

"We're really safety-conscious, but this was unfortunate," Bergeron told NECN. "It wasn't ready, it wasn't tied down properly, it just wasn't meant to be used."

Bergeron told WCVB that the house had been blocked off with hay bales. However, the father of one of the victims and another visitor told WMUR that a volunteer at the farm said the bouncy house was open and that the kids could play inside for free.

Once the boys were inside the bouncy house, the wind lifted it off the ground.

The wind gust was strong enough to take the house right over this fence,” Nashua Fire Department Deputy Chief Michael O’Brien told WCVB, estimating the distance to be at least 50 feet.

Earlier this year, three children were injured -- one critically -- when a bouncy house lifted off the ground and flew some 50 feet in South Glens Falls, N.Y. Two children suffered minor injuries in June when a bouncy slide was tossed around by the wind in Colorado.

One expert estimates there are 11,000 bouncy house injuries per year in the United States.

If this were a disease, it would be considered an epidemic," Tracy Mehan, a health educator with the Child Injury Prevention Alliance, told Time magazine.

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