This Video Of A Bounce House Soaring Through The Air After Being Uprooted Is Incredibly Scary

Bouncy castles — those whimsical, inflatable palaces — have long been a staple at children's backyard birthday parties and local carnivals. Yet after a few terrifying incidences in the last year, perhaps it won't be long before these inflatable bounce houses are retired for more, well, grounded entertainment. Two bounce houses were blown away in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Monday, injuring three children while the inflatable house tumbled and soared into the air before crashing to the ground.

The terrifying accident occurred early Monday afternoon during a Memorial Day family event at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park, where a waterspout — a tornado-like vortex that forms over water — reportedly swept through the area. Once it hit the shore, the waterspout uprooted two bounce houses, carrying them "westbound above the tree line, across four lanes of traffic on State Road A1A," city authorities said in a statement. Both bounce houses landed in a parking lot.

While one of the inflatable houses was unoccupied when the waterspout hit, the other had three children inside. However, Fort Lauderdale police said the three children were immediately ejected from the bouncy castle when it first overturned. They landed on the sand and, fortunately, not in the parking lot across the highway.

Still, the event was traumatic. All three children were injured, two with minor fractures. One child remains hospitalized, but is in stable condition, Fort Lauderdale police said on Monday.

An eyewitness caught the waterspout on video, which shows the bouncy castles flip across the sand and tumble through the air as beach-goers scream in shock. The video will probably make you think twice about going near a bouncy castle ever again — or renting one for your child's birthday party.

Renegade bouncy castles have been making alarming headlines over the last year — and the details are, usually, very similar. Last May, two children in Colorado were injured after the inflatable bounce house they were in was swept across a field by a powerful gust of wind. The wind reportedly sent one of the kids eight feet in the air.

Just a few weeks before that Colorado incident, a bouncy castle in upstate New York was thrown 50 feet in the air, seriously injuring two young boys. The boys were ejected from the bounce house about 15 feet above the ground, eyewitnesses said at the time. However, the children were reportedly thrown onto asphalt and the hood of a car.

Most bouncy castle retailers provide clear guidelines on how to safely use the inflatable device. These guidelines usually include a rule about keeping the bouncy castles firmly anchored to the ground with multiple stakes. Of course, that may not be enough to keep something like a waterspout at bay.

Image: elPadawan/Flickr