Two girls have been critically injured after a bouncy castle “explosion” threw them 25ft over a metal fence onto tram tracks.
Video footage from the scene in Barnaul, Russia, shows panicking parents trying to stop the inflatable flying upwards as the children, aged three and four, are still inside.
Three other children were thrown off the bouncy castle as it flew up to “lamppost height” but were not injured.
The two young girls, named locally as Anna and Vika, are fighting for their lives in ICU after they were hurled over a 6ft-tall metal fence onto the tracks.
Anna is being treated for concussion and a spinal fracture, while Vika sustained a skull fracture and lung and abdomen injuries.
Vika was thrown around 15ft away from the bouncy castle when the shocking incident happened.
Russain newspaper Kommersant reported that one of the girls needed a ventilator while in hospital.
Girls ‘undergoing treatment’ in ICU
A health ministry spokesperson said: “The girls are currently undergoing treatment in the intensive care unit.”
Witnesses tried to grab the bouncy castle, which was situated close to a shopping mall, when it was thrown into the air.
A criminal case into the incident has been opened by the Russian Investigative Committee.
Investigators initially said the incident was caused by strong winds, but people at the scene claimed there was “the sound of an explosion”.
Witness Anastasia Dolmatova urged investigators to “accurately check the cause”, saying: “What wind? I work one bus stop away from this place, but even we heard the bang.”
Another witness said the inflatable had no protective underlay and was rubbing against the tarmac which could have caused it to burst.
And a local report said some of the ropes attached to the bouncy castle were not properly secured and it had instead been tied to the fence.