Girl becomes second child to die in Spanish bouncy castle incident

Heartbroken father releases video of girl, four, singing ‘I love you’ days before she became second child to die in bouncy castle tragedy at Spanish fairground

  • A strong gust of wind threw the bouncy castle into the air in Mislata on January 4 
  • The four-year-old girl has been named Vera by her father in a tribute video
  • Ivan Perez said his daughter’s organs were donated and would save five others
  • Vera becomes the second victim after an eight-year-old girl was also killed 
  • Spanish media reported legal proceedings have been brought against owner

A heartbroken father has released a video of his four-year-old daughter singing ‘I love you’ days before she become the second child to die in a bouncy castle tragedy at a Spanish fairground.

The girl, named Vera, was injured in the incident at a Christmas fair in Mislata on January 4 which also resulted in the death of an eight-year-old girl.

Vera’s father Ivan Perez said in a video tribute to his daughter that her donated organs have helped save the lives of five other children.

Four-year-old Vera (pictured) has become the second child victim in a Spanish fairground tragedy that saw a strong gust of wing throw a bouncy castle into the air

Pictured: The bouncy castle seen the morning after the attraction was lifted up by a gust of wind on January 4, 2022

He spoke of the gesture in the video, showing her singing a Christmas carol alongside the message: ‘I leave you my smile so it doesn’t disappear.’

Vera had been playing on the inflatable at the fairground near Valencia when it was lifted several feet into the air.

The eight-year-old girl, named Cayetana, was also on the inflatable when it was lifted, before she landed on her head when it hit the ground.

She died 12 hours later after she was rushed to La Fe Hospital in Valencia. 

It was reported at the time that another girl, aged four, was also seriously injured and had been taken to hospital.

Seven other youngsters were hurt and required hospital treatment although their injuries were mostly described as non-serious. 

‘I say goodbye to the world in a tragic and unfair way,’ Mr Perez wrote on Twitter, speaking for his daughter Vera.

Saying that her organs would be donated, he wrote on behalf of Vera: ‘To the five little friends I help to live with my organs, be as happy as I have been’. 

The minute-long footage of her singing in Spanish finished with her blowing a kiss.

Seven other youngsters were hurt in the incident and required hospital treatment although their injuries were mostly described as non-serious. Pictured: Firefighters work at the scene of the bouncy castle incident in Mislata, January 4

Pictured: An aerial view of the fairground where the bouncy castle was blown into the air on the evening of January 4. It has resulted in the deaths of two girls

The owner of the bouncy castle, a Spaniard nicknamed Toni ‘el Terremoto’ which translates into English as Toni the Earthquake, has already been questioned by police as part of an ongoing investigation.

The local council has said his paperwork was in order but made no comment on the anchorage system which Cayetana’s family have described as ‘inadequate’ or the decision not to close the attraction when the wind became strong. 

According to Spanish media, Cayetana’s parents have begun legal proceedings, and say they are convinced their daughter’s death could have been prevented.

Her brother Jaime, 11, was also on the same inflatable but survived serious injury after landing on his knees as he fell. 

‘As a father I don’t know what to say about what happened,’ Cayetana’s father wrote in a letter published in a Valencian newspaper.

‘Just that life can be so unfair sometimes and no father or mother is prepared for this kind of situation or for coping with this enormous pain.’

He described his young daughter as the ‘joy of the house’, and admitted that they had not yet found the courage to go into Cayetana’s bedroom.

The owner of the bouncy castle (pictured on the night of the incident), a Spaniard nicknamed Toni ‘el Terremoto’ which translates into English as Toni the Earthquake, has already been questioned by police as part of an ongoing investigation

‘Dear Cayetana, your parents love you a lot,’ the letter read. ‘You are and always will be our angel. Affectionate, kind and very noble.

‘We know you will take care of us and your brother Jaime wherever you are. Give us lots of strength to cope with your loss. We love you.

‘As parents we don’t know what to say about what occurred, only that life at times is unfair and no mother or father is prepared for this type of situation or to support so much pain.

‘When something like this happens all we can do is cling to faith and try to find a path…and the only path is to overcome this and try to get a bit stronger every day.

‘It’s worth it for our other child, who was also on the bouncy castle but wasn’t injured as he fell on his knees. Life gave him a second opportunity.’

A police investigation is now underway to ascertain whether the incident was linked to any negligence. 

Speaking after the incident last week, one witness told reporters: ‘All of a sudden I saw it rise into the air. I saw the kids that were in the air, I think they fell onto another inflatable structure. There was a young girl on the floor, unconscious.’

The witness and other people at the fairground rushed to help. ‘Fairgoers, the families, passersby – we were all doing what we could to help,’ she said.

Mislata’s mayor Carlos Fernandez Bielsa said at the time: ‘It will be up to the police to determine what has happened.’ 

A spokesman for local firefighters, who attended the scene along with police and paramedics, announced the news of the Cayetana’s death last week.

They said: ‘Several children have been assisted by paramedics following an incident involving a bouncy castle in Mislata. 

‘We have checked the structure to make sure there were no other minors beneath it and rule out anyone being trapped.’ 

According to Spanish media, the eight-year-old girl’s parents have begun legal proceedings, and say they are convinced their daughter’s death could have been prevented. Pictured: Firefighters at the scene of the incident on January 4

Mislata Town Hall said in a statement after learning of the first death: ‘Following the tragic incident last night, we have declared a period of official mourning until January 7 because of the death of one of the girls involved. 

‘We would like to transmit our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the youngster who lost her life. She was only eight years old.’ 

It also announced it was suspending a scheduled Three Kings Day parade.   

A similar bouncy castle incident in Australia last month caused the deaths of six children aged 11 and 12.

Chace Harrison became the sixth youngster to die of his injuries after his life support was switched off at a Hobart Hospital on December 19.

He was among nine students who fell 32 feet from an inflatable castle when it was lifted up by wind at a school fair in Devonport, Tasmania.

The other five children who lost their lives have been named as 11-year-old Addison Stewart, and 12-year-olds Zane Mellor, Jye Sheehan, Jalailah Jayne-Maree Jones, and Peter Dodt.

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