The boys, ages 5 and 6, remained hospitalized at Albany Medical Center after the wind-swept children’s play structure sailed at least 20 feet in the air, then drifted away, South Glens Falls police said.
A 10-year-old girl was also inside the bounce house, but suffered scrapes and a minor shoulder injury, according to her family.
The 5-year-old boy hit his head on a parked car when he landed in an apartment building’s parking lot, while the 6-year-old was dropped in the street.
The boy who hit the car suffered a serious head injury and was placed in a medically induced coma, South Glens Falls Police Chief Kevin Judd told the Glens Falls Post-Star.
The other boy who fell onto the street had two broken arms, a broken jaw, an eye socket fracture and possible ruptured spleen, the newspaper reported.
Witnesses told NBC affiliate WNYT that the Little Tikes bounce house — about 8 feet by 8 feet — floated over a stretch of woods, reaching as high as 50 feet before dropping in the athletic field behind a nearby middle school.
Emergency crews initially thought they were responding to a swing set collapse but found more severe injuries.
They saw “two critically injured children in two different locations” about 75 feet apart, said Andre Delvaux, chief of operations for the Moreau Emergency Squad, which responded to the bounce house scene.
Delvaux told NBC News that he saw a piece of fabric appearing to be from the deflated toy in front of a home.
“The bounce house injuries we get are kids who have fallen out of them while they are on the ground and broken their arm or something,” Delvaux said. “This is crazy. It’s just a freak accident that’s so unfortunate.”
Police said the man who owned the toy had used spikes to secure it to the ground. The six plastic spikes, each about 6 inches long, were found near the apartment complex, the Post-Star reported.
Neighbors said the owner of the inflatable house has children but that they were not the ones injured.
Meteorologists found the bizarre accident — while not improbable — surprising given the forecast.
“Winds were light at the Glens Falls reporting station at the reported time of the incident,” said Weather Channel senior meteorologist Stu Ostro. Winds were about 5 to 10 mph.
Little Tikes said in a statement that it would look into the incident and its “thoughts and prayers are with the children and their families.”
— Erik Ortiz and Tracy Connor