A bounce house for children is supposed to be a gentle ride, but three children at a Florida beach were taken for a terrifying spin Monday when a waterspout crossed onto land, swept them up and carried their inflatable high above the trees.
Miraculously, the kids landed on sand instead of concrete when they were were thrown from the bounce house in Ford Lauderdale Beach, escaping with only minor injuries, according to WTVJ NBC 6.
Video taken by a beachgoer shows a waterspout coming ashore without warning, picking up the inflatable and carrying it over a parking lot and four lanes of traffic.
“I was thinking I was about to die,” said 5-year-old Shadaja Bryant, who suffered a fractured arm after a 20 foot fall. “I was in the bounce house and then it flew while I was in there, then I fell in the dirt.”
Shadaja’s cousin, Shamoya Ferguson, 6, received a large bump on her forehead.
“I was in the bounce house and a tornado while I was in the bounce house and I flew up and dropped,” she said.
AJ Dent, 11, also suffered a fractured arm. All three children were taken to Broward General Hospital.
Bryant and Dent were released Monday. Ferguson was kept overnight for observation.
Ferguson’s mother Tameka Liscombe watched in horror and heard her daughter shout “Mommy, mommy” as she was swept away, WVSN reported.
The bounce house, weighing between 200 and 600 pounds, was properly secured, according to Fort Lauderdale Police Officer Deanna Greenlaw. “These bounce houses are permitted. It’s an incident, an act of Mother Nature that couldn’t be prevented,” she said.
The National Weather Service classified the waterspout as an EF-0 tornado, with winds between 65 and 85 miles per hour. Waterspouts are called tornadoes when they cross onto land.
Shadaja shook her head when asked if she will ever go into a bounce house.
Asked why, she replied, “Cause my lip is bleeding.”