'Dust Devil' Sweeps Up Bouncy Castle, Kills Two Kids
Footage has emerged of the terrifying moment a whirlwind ripped through a fairground in China's Henan province, throwing a bouncy castle filled with children into the air.
Two kids were killed and 20 others, including two adults, were injured in the freak accident on Sunday local time, officials confirmed.
A video posted to social media shows the large so-called "dust devil" lifting the bouncy castle high into the sky, twisting it around multiple times, before dumping it back onto the ground.
Dozens of people can be seen running from the vertical whirlwind as it whips up dust and debris, turning stalls into rubble.
One witness told local media that she saw the children fall from a height of about 20 metres.
Of the injured, one child remains in a serious condition in hospital, the others escaped with minor injuries.
A county government official told the South China Morning Post it was unclear whether "human factors" played a role. An investigation is now underway.
A senior weather forecaster with the provincial bureau confirmed that the weather phenomenon was a dust devil, not a tornado.
A dust devil is basically a long-lived whirlwind that is formed sunny, dry conditions.
They can be as big as 10 metres wide and more than one kilometre high. They don't tend to pose a risk to people unless one grows big enough to lift up a person or property.
It isn't the first time a bouncy castle has blown away.
Three children were injured in February last year, when an inflatable house was blown upside down by strong wind gusts in Guizhou Province, south-east China.
While In May last year, strong winds swept an inflatable house onto a highway in California, with a boy, nine, still inside.
Fortunately, he escaped with cuts and bruises.
A similar incident happened in Queensland in September 2017.