13 Hurt When Wind Blows Away Bounce Houses With Kids Inside In Oceanside

OCEANSIDE, N.Y. (CBS 2) — A child is fighting for its life after wind gusts caused three carnival rides to flip over on Long Island, leaving at least a dozen others injured.

“I couldn’t believe it,” one witness told CBS 2’s Kristin Thorne. “It was like something out of a movie.”

A witness snapped pictures as one of the inflatable bouncy houses was thrown into the air.

Richard Dowd’s two daughters were stuck inside one of them.

“As the thing was coming at me, I tried grabbing it and it just flattened me out,” he said.

Kids who were standing near the bouncy houses, waiting in line, were also sucked up into the houses as one knocked into the other, forming a type of tornado.

Marianna Rhatigan’s two daughters were both injured during the frightening ordeal.

“The bouncy house fell on me; then I just got hurt by my nose and my knee,” Nina Rhatigan said.

“A rope got caught on my neck and it dragged me over, and then it finally got off,” Lara Rhatigan said.

Their mother was frantic.

“I just ran, and by the time I’d gotten there, the other rides were blowing away,” Marianna Rhatigan said. “Kids were being knocked over, and there were just kids lying everywhere.”

The scary situation happened during a soccer tournament for Oceanside United Soccer Club. Police said 13 people were hurt when a huge wind gust caused the three houses to lift off the ground.

A 4-month-old baby was in his stroller when the inflatable houses scooped him up and tossed him into the air.

“[The stroller] was upside-down, with the baby strapped in it – strapped in the baby seat upside-down,” a witness said.

CBS 2 tracked down the man who appeared to be with the company that operated the houses, but he said they were unsure what caused the incident.

Parents told CBS 2 they did believe they saw sandbags holding down the ropes to the houses.

Nassau County police said they were not conducting a formal investigation into the frightening situation, which they called an “unusual incident.”

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

  • M. Young

    Winds over 25MPH are unsafe for inflatable set-ups. Sand bags are primarily used for indoor inflatable set-ups.Not for something like this. Spikes would be used! Sandbags possibly in additions for extra precaution. This is a sad accident. Unfortunately, it looks like it could have been prevented:( Unsafe set-up and unfair weather conditions. Hope the children recover!!

  • Al

    It does appear that more should have been done to fasten these “houses” more securely. It is extremely fortunate that there were no fatalities. Hopefully, this will be a lesson learned for future events.

  • d23

    I agree I was there and my question was how were they tied down. OUSC was amazing in their response and I am PROUD to be an oceanside resident esp after seeing how everyone pulled together. I have a zillion questions for the company of the bouncies

  • Cowboy

    Federal union inspectors for inflatable fun houses.
    Inflatable Fun House Licenses.
    Inflatable Fun House Operation Certification.
    Union Inflatable Fun House operators.
    Taxes to pay for it all.

    • Cowboy

      Then we will wonder why there are no more inflatable funhouses…

  • woohooman

    MEDIA hype and sensationalistic embellishment – but GOVERNMENT comes to the rescue!!! NO more bounce houses without a permit! No PARK birthday parties without a PERMIT! Enjoy your freedom slave.

  • justbeingme

    “A child is fighting for its life…”

    ITS life. Really? Is this child a plastic doll, or an actual human being?

    • Kenneth Winslow

      after reading this article, THAT is what you get out of it? a stupid typo?

    • d23

      where does it say a child is fighting for his or her life? i didnt see it in the report.

      • Justbeingme

        Very first line of the story.


    Oh gee……two serial sex addicts! Sad…..

  • edgardo

    “Do not taunt bouncy fun house”

  • weeee

    It’s not the first time this has happened.

    • Chad Entringer

      Maybe any on duty cops just sat and watched and contemplated reacting or not since they were not trained in “flying bounce houses”.

  • Bobo

    You don’t anchor these things down with sandbags. You anchor them with spikes. They were improperly anchored. Period.

    • Tracy Schillaci

      Ever heard of a drill and anchors? I tether a large canopy tent to cement for a few weeks a year for a garage sale. You drill, you secure anchors then you secure tether.

      As to your comment about lack of wind that day, funny thing about wind, sometimes it isn’t there and next thing you know it gusts. It is for this reason that rule number one when it come to temporary structures that are light subject to movement from wind is a TETHER!

      The people who ran this were short sighted and I hope no parent looses a child over their lack of foresight.

    • Larz Blackman

      Erika, you are a fool by mistaking the solution for the problem.

    • xcellr8r

      You don’t know much about mechanical things do you…
      Yes, they should have been spiked down. That’s how you do it.
      Spikes are used for anchoring tents of all sizes, ‘easy-ups’, canopies, even hot-air balloons. And yes, the spikes work just fine when properly sized and installed.

  • Erika

    first off, there was no wind in oceanside all day even with that said all the inflatables were properly anchored down i saw first hand the slide flying through the air and i saw it lift all the ground with multiple sandbags, to air blowers AND even the generator it was attached to was lifted of the ground! this was just a sad, yet freak accident. also to cbs news where are you getting your information? theres no child holding on for their life! there one and only semi serious injury was a 36 year old woman who was later released from the hospital and the rest were minor injuries, i dont know about everyone else but i want a news channel that knows what they’re talking about!!

    • kyle

      And CBS 2 New York just got owned

    • xcellr8r

      You need to look at Fox News, and DrudgeReport.com.
      That’s where you’ll find the truth.

    • d23

      there is a mom still in the hospital (in rough shape) and NO child fighting for his/her life. I agree where the heck is CBS getting info from!!???

    • d23

      I do not think they were properly anchored

    • John

      That woman you speak of is my ex-wife and she is still in ICU at South Nassau. She has severe injuries.


    leave it to non union work, no safety regs, they didnt have this thing properly anchored to the ground? shoddy worksmanship all around.

    • Warren Shelmidine

      yeah and if they had paid union guy to check into it…………..then they couldn’t afford the rides in the first place.

      • lee

        Union workers are the laziest in the US. People probably would have been killed if it was a union shop.

    • UNION NO

      Drop the Marxist propaganda spam please.

    • The Belt

      I see what the union does for the Belt Parkway everyday. Three or four giant trucks taking up two out of three lanes so four guys can fill a pot hole. Wait. I mean so one guy can fill a pot hole and three watch to make sure he is doing it properly. Of course during work hours. Unions are not always the answer.

    • Union Sucks


  • shelly

    just saw news12 long island..no serious injuries..thank god,..but what i dont understand is someone who’s kids were in the houses took video instead of trying to do something to help the kids..thats what our society has come to..drop the darn camera and do something usefull

  • shelly

    one is one too many..our prayers are for all the kids

  • kendra

    damn when the operators of that blow up house knows there might be heavy gusts of wind sooner or later he has got to shut that down until it stops or either don,t have that house down for that day cauise it could have turned out very ugly and tragic that day its a good thing know1 got seriously hurt.

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