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July 25, 2014

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Boys tossed from flyaway bouncer still in hospital

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AP Photo/South Glens Fall Police Department

This May 13, 2014, photo provided by the South Glens Fall Police Department, shows a deflated bounce house that three children were playing in on Monday when it broke loose from plastic anchoring stakes and was swept skyward by gusty winds, in South Glens Fall, N.Y.

SOUTH GLENS FALLS, N.Y. — Two young boys who fell from an inflatable bounce house as it was swept skyward by gusty winds remained hospitalized in stable condition Wednesday, one in a medically induced coma with a head injury, according to police.

A girl, age 10, and the boys, ages 5 and 6, were playing in the 10-by-10-foot roofless nylon playhouse at a South Glens Falls townhouse community Monday afternoon when the 38-pound Little Tikes toy product broke loose from plastic anchoring stakes, local police said.

Commercial bounce houses rented for parties and other events are made of heavy vinyl, weigh 200 to 250 pounds and are secured by 18-inch steel stakes.

The girl fell out immediately and suffered minor scrapes, but the boys didn't tumble out until the toy was 15 feet in the air. Police Chief Kevin Judd told the Glens Falls Post Star (http://bit.ly/1v5hLxw) that one boy hit a parked car as he fell and suffered a serious head injury. The other has broken arms and several broken facial bones. They were airlifted to Albany Medical Center.

The chief said an investigation was continuing but no charges were likely to be filed. He called what happened a "tragic accident."

There have been other accidents involving windblown bounce houses. In Scottsdale, Arizona, a bounce house outside a McDonald's restaurant was pushed into traffic by a gust of wind in March 2012. No injuries were reported.

In June 2011, strong winds tumbled three bounce houses with children inside them at a youth soccer tournament in Oceanside. Minor injuries were reported.

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