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Seven injured in children’s inflatable house incident during high winds

<i>WLOS</i><br/>Transylvania County officials said seven people were injured
Transylvania County officials said seven people were injured

By Samiar Nefzi

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    BREVARD, North Carolina (WLOS) — Transylvania County officials said seven people were injured, with four taken to a nearby hospital, following a inflatable house incident during high winds Saturday afternoon, March 25.

Two children’s bounce houses at the City of Brevard Sports Complex near Pisgah Forest Elementary School went airborne, officials say.

“We had two inflatable rides that were here blown from their anchored position across the park,” said City of Brevard Fire Department Public Information Officer Adam Hughey.

It was the opening day for Transylvania County Little League Baseball season, and about three or four inflatable structures were set up as part of the day’s festivities. Officials said around 4:30 p.m., a huge gust of wind picked up two of the bounce houses, tossing them yards away. One of the inflatables struck a baseball field fence, warping and cracking the metal frame.

Hughey told News 13 the injuries appeared to be minor. He did not have specific ages, but said the victims ranged from children to adults. It’s not believed anyone was inside the structures when they broke loose.

According to Hughey, the two houses were anchored in Field Five when they broke loose during a gust of high wind.

The houses are owned and operated by Incredible Inflatables & Amusements. Employee Charlie Sherlin told News 13 they used “two-foot stakes” to anchor the houses down.

“This is the first time for me,” said Charlie Sherlin, an employee of Incredible Inflatables & Amusements.

Chase Owens, with Transylvania Little League, told News 13 he estimates about 1,500 people were at the sports complex when the houses went airborne.

“The wind can lift these up,” said Sherlin. “We had a case of heavy wind. The wind was so heavy, it moved it across and over a fence.”

Transylvania Little League canceled the remainder of the games Saturday after the incident. It released the following statement Saturday night:

“As many have heard, there has been an unfortunate incident this afternoon at the ball fields. During a gust of wind, some of the inflatables broke loose and got blown across the fields. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who were injured. We are very grateful to the first responders who jumped into action immediately to minimize the impacts and treat those who were injured. Additional thanks goes out to the parents and other spectators who assisted in all areas to help ensure the safety of everyone involved.”

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