A 5-year-old girl who was injured when a waterspout came ashore in Florida, lifting the bounce house she and two other children were playing inside, is speaking out about her terrifying ordeal.
Shadaja Bryant is nursing a broken arm after the accident that has become all too common with the inflatable party staple.
“I was thinking I was about to die,” the girl told NBC Miami. “I was in the bounce house and then it flew while I was in there, then I fell in the dirt.”
The girl’s father, Ryan Howard, told the news station he felt “helpless” when the waterspout lifted the bounce house into the air.
“I was crying all the way there and from the time I saw the bounce house to the hospital I was crying, I was shaken real bad,” Howard said. “I thought it was safe.”
Two other children were injured in the ordeal that sent the bounce house flailing across a parking lot and into a roadway in Fort Lauderdale. Shomoya Ferguson 6, and her stepbrother AJ were rushed to Broward Health Medical Center with Shadaja after police cut into the bounce house to make sure the children were safe.
“They just hit the sand,” said Sophia Fuller, the children’s aunt. “She was in shock, she couldn’t talk. She was just screaming. Her mouth was bloody,” added Wray, who is their cousin. “My other little cousin’s mouth was bloody. He was just laying there. He was shaking.”
Unfortunately, bounce house incidents are becoming more and more common. Just last year, two boys were seriously injured after falling nearly two stories from an airborne bounce house in upstate New York. According to CNN, a study conducted by Dr. Gary Smith of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio found that bounce house-related injuries rose 1,500 percent between 1995 and 2010.
The waterspout that lifted the Florida bounce house was classified as an EF-0 tornado, according to the National Weather Service.