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The gut-wrenching thought of unopened presents under a Christmas tree has brought Senator Jacqui Lambie to tears on live television as she discussed Tasmania's horrific jumping castle tragedy.
Ms Lambie, who grew up in Devonport, broke down while admitting she was “scared to get on the phone” following the freak accident which killed five students and injured four others on the final day of the school term.
“I don't know whose children they are. I don't know whose grandchildren they are,” she told Nine’s Today program on Friday morning.
“I know it's going to be somebody that we know."
The heartbroken politician said she was still in shock, describing the tragedy as the “most awful thing, just before Christmas”.
“We still don't know how the other four children are going that are still in hospital. Is there going to be more? It is just, just horrific. A week before Christmas time,” she said.
"You think of those kids having those Christmas presents under the tree. It's just bloody awful."
The devastated politician also had a heavy heart for the emergency service personnel involved in the Hillcrest Primary School incident.
“Those police officers, you will probably find they are born and bred from there as well or from the local area,” she said.
Mayor makes teary reveal
In a separate interview on Network Ten's The Project, Devonport mayor Annette Rockliff said the entire town was struggling to come to terms with the disaster.
“We’re trying to take care of each other but I think we’re still struggling to get our head around it,” Cr Rockcliff told The Project on Network Ten.
She revealed she had only met the students last week during a visit to the school.
“I did meet all of those children last week, I was in their classroom for an hour or so, so it’s tough to think about that,” she said, looking visibly upset.
Four children have been killed, and several others have been injured in a jumping castle accident at their Devonport primary school in Tasmania. Devonport Mayor Annette Rockcliff joins us. #TheProjectTV pic.twitter.com/CfgxsMlqWR
— The Project (@theprojecttv) December 16, 2021
Two victims named as investigations continue
Two of the young victims were named overnight in fundraising pages set up to help their grieving families.
Addison Stewart and her classmate, Zane, were among five students who died after falling from a jumping castle that was blown into the air by a gust of wind on Thursday morning.
Three of their fellow classmates are still fighting for life in hospital and a fourth remains in a serious condition.
They were celebrating the end of the school year.
A vigil has been set up at a nearby church, with toys and flowers being laid outside the school.
An investigation into the incident is continuing, but police said it would take “quite some time”.
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