Horror deaths on jumping castle

WARNING: Distressing footage.

Horrifying footage shows the moment a jumping castle full of children is swept up into the sky during a terrifying dust storm in China.

A tornado-like "dust devil" sent the inflatable jumping castle flying into the air at a pear orchard festival in central China, killing two children and injuring at least 20 others about 3pm local time on Sunday.

The large inflatable twisted around in the freak weather event as people ran from the scene and cradled children on the ground as the devastating winds ripped around other stalls at the fair.

One onlooker is heard shouting, "There's a child falling" while other clips show the inflatable travelling further along a dirt road and hurtling into stopped cars in Tianmiao Town, Henan province.

Among the others injured was a child whose condition was said to be serious.

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Some victims were reportedly swept up in the vortex and dropped again, some of them falling into tree branches or mud.

A government official said the two children died at the scene, but he did not have further details about them.

"The nature of this accident is also not yet known, as it is still unclear whether … it was an incident partly caused by human factors," they said.

The dust devil measured about 9m wide and lasted up to four minutes, causing damage to businesses at the scenic area.

More than 400 people attended the fair, held every year when the local pear trees blossom.

Dust devils are small whirlwinds caused by hot air near the surface rising rapidly through cooler air above.

They can occur on sunny days, often in deserts or dry riverbeds and can be more than 1km in height.

In 2017 a six-year-old girl was killed and six others injured after a jumping castle broke loose outside a restaurant in northeastern Spain.

Last year a young girl died after being thrown from a jumping castle as it "exploded" in front of horrified families on a beach in the UK.

Also in China last year a seven-year-old boy was killed and several adults and children injured as wind gusts swept an inflatable into the sky and left them trapped underneath when it returned to the ground.

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