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Inflatable Flies Across Soccer Field; Video Goes Viral

Posted On: 6/12/2011

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inflatable devices, inflatable attractions, amusement business, amusement rentals, amusement safety, Jim Barber, National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials

OCEANSIDE, NY -- In what's reportedly the 10th such incident across America this year, a large water slide and two other inflatable devices went airborne briefly at a soccer field in this Long Island town on June 4.

More than a dozen people were hospitalized as a result. A woman received critical head and spinal injuries when an inflatable landed on her, according to local press outlets.

The event was captured on video. | SEE VIDEO

Videos of similar incidents have become a genre of their own on YouTube, filed under "bounce house blows away." This particular video in various postings on the site had received nearly 5,000 views at presstime, in part because the Huffington Post posted it.

According to the Associated Press, when the inflatables began tumbling uncontrollably across the field, bystanders raced toward them and slashed the plastic skins with knives to deflate the devices, hoping to prevent further tumbling and injuries.

The news service said "hit-and-miss regulation and a lack of industrywide standards [mean that improperly operated inflatables] can endanger lives." AP said inflatables were involved in two fatalities last year, one in Pennsylvania and another in Kansas.

Jim Barber of the National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials (Bradenton, FL) said that inflatable rides could be "dangerous," particularly when operators drop them off for unsupervised use by untrained customers. Failing to anchor the devices securely is the reason they go flying "all the time," he added.

The Nassau County district attorney is investigating the accident.