Strong winds to blame after 'inflatable' injures Frederick students

Frederick schools Superintendent Shannon Vanderburg said seven children were taken to a hospital Tuesday after an inflatable obstacle course was blown over. Three were kept overnight to monitor head injuries, he said.
BY ADAM KEMP akemp@opubco.com Modified: May 15, 2013 at 9:36 pm •  Published: May 15, 2013
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FREDERICK — Three fifth-grade students from Frederick Elementary School were kept overnight at a hospital after the inflatable obstacle course they were playing on was blown over by a large gust of wind.

Frederick schools Superintendent Shannon Vanderburg said seven children were taken to the hospital Tuesday afternoon after the accident and three were kept overnight to monitor head injuries.

“I visited the hospital this morning, and they were all awake and alert and in good spirits,” he said.

The event Tuesday was an end-of-the-year celebration for the students featuring various competitions.

Three outdoor inflatables were set up for the students to play in. The one that blew over was the biggest.

Fire Chief James Heap, whose daughter is a fifth-grader, was at the school when the incident happened.

Heap said the inflatable was properly secured at the north end of the school's football stadium, and the stadium acted like a wind tunnel when a large gust of wind came down the field from the south.

“It was like a big whirlwind that came through there with really strong winds,” he said. “It ripped that deal out of the ground and pulled the spikes out of the ground too. It was just a freak deal.”



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