A memorial to victims of a bouncy castle tragedy that killed five children in Australia continued to grow Saturday, as an outpouring of support drove donations over a million dollars.
Three 12-year-old boys and two girls, aged 11 and 12, were killed when the large inflatable castle lifted off the ground on Thursday in Devonport, northern Tasmania, police said.
Three more children were in critical condition in hospital in the state capital Hobart, and one was recovering at home.
On Saturday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison visited the growing memorial of soft toys, flowers, and emotional messages laid outside the school.
An online fundraiser — initially aiming to raise Aus$1,000 ($712) for the victims’ families — climbed to over Aus$1.1 million on Saturday morning.
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“It’s just beyond anything we could have thought possible,” Zoe Smith, who organised the fundraiser, told media in Devonport.
“I think it just proves how shaken up everyone is and how tight-knit of a community we are.”
Morrison also announced the government would fund support to the families, first responders, and community affected by the tragedy.
“We grieve with them, and we mourn with them, and we want to do everything we possibly can to help them through this terrible, terrible, unthinkable, and imaginable tragedy,” he told reporters in Hobart.
Earlier, authorities said the children were thrown from a height of about 10 metres (33 feet), citing initial witness reports.
Police said the probe into the incident is expected to take “quite some time” and would need to interview people at the outdoor party, which some 40 primary school children attended.