Two young victims of Tasmania’s horrific jumping castle tragedy that killed five children have been named as people dig deep to support their grieving families.
Addison Stewart and her classmate, Zane, died after falling from a jumping castle that was blown into the air by a gust of wind at Hillcrest Primary School in Devonport on Thursday morning.
They are among nine children who were killed or injured in the freak accident while close to 40 grade five and six students celebrated the end of the school year.
Police confirmed on Friday morning that three of the victims were male students and two were females. One of the children was 11 years old and the others were 12.
Three of their fellow classmates are still fighting for life in hospital and a fourth is now recovering at home.
"There is no doubt this incident will leave its mark and I know people are sending their thoughts and prayers from right across the country and even further afield," Tasmania Police Commissioner Darren Hine told reporters.
"The whole community and particularly the Devonport region is feeling this loss deeply".
Fundraising pages for Addison and Zane have received an overwhelming amount of money.
As of about 7am on Friday, more than $26,000 had been donated for Addison’s funeral costs and to support her parents as they “navigate life without their precious daughter”.
“I don't even know what to write at this stage. Everyone is devastated, she was always such a sweet kind, old soul,” Addison’s aunty Meg Aherne wrote.
While donations have surpassed $29,000 to assist Zane's family at the time of writing.
Zane is being remembered as a “beautiful, caring, gentle soul who had challenges growing up with his autism and adhd (sic) but that never set him back he kept achieving”.
Stranger's fundraiser for Hillcrest Primary School victims
A third fundraising page set up by a Devonport woman, who claims to not know any of the children killed or injured, has also accumulated a whopping $232,323 overnight.
"This is something close to my heart and it was something simple I could do," the page said.
"I was moved by the tragedy at Hillcrest Primary School and wanted to do something to support the families throughout Christmas."
A vigil has been set up at a nearby church, with toys and flowers being laid outside the school.
Police investigations continue
Commissioner Hine said there are a lot of unanswered questions, including whether the inflatable castle was tethered to the ground.
"It will be a very detailed investigation, led by the police, with the assistance of WorkSafe, under the direction of the coroner".
He revealed several adults rushed to the aid of the children and rendered first aid until paramedics arrived.
He urged those who are struggling with the incident to seek help and added cross-agency support is being offered to help the community through the tragedy.
"We can't imagine the devastation that these families and friends and colleagues and first responders are going through, but we have professional counsellors who are absolutely helping in any way they possibly can".
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