Bounce house-like inflatable in Washington thrown by wind gust, 5 students injured

The inflatable in Zillah, Washington, was catapulted about 20 feet into the air and thrown more than 240 feet, according to a local media report.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
By Elisha Fieldstadt

A strong wind gust thrust a bounce house-type inflatable into the air Wednesday, injuring five Washington state high school students, officials said.

The inflatable went airborne at about 2:30 p.m. during an Associated student body event at Zillah High School, outside of Yakima, according to a statement from the school. The statement said five students were hurt and that the nature and extent of their injuries was unknown at the time.

The inflatable was catapulted about 20 feet off the ground and thrown more than 240 feet, according to the Yakima Herald-Republic.

Videos of the incident show an open-top inflatable called Hungry Hippo Chow Down or Hungry Human Hippos in which people are tethered to the inside walls with a Bungee-type cord and a belt around their waists. The secured players have to try to get balls from the center of the inflatable, imitating the Hasbro game Hungry Hungry Hippos.

It's unclear if the inflatable was secured to the ground. Zillah High School said it was investigating the incident.