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New evidence emerges in Tasmanian jumping castle tragedy investigation

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A coroner has enlisted the help of a weather expert and key witnesses as part of an ongoing investigation into the jumping castle tragedy that killed six children in Tasmania.

Tasmania Police have provided a “large volume” of evidence to Coroner Olivia McTaggart, in an effort to determine what went wrong during the fatal accident at Hillcrest Primary School in Devonport last year.

The coroner has engaged a weather expert to provide an opinion on the weather conditions on the day and a final report is expected soon.

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Other evidence submitted to the coronial inquiry includes forensic reports along with video and photographic material.

A case management conference will be held at Devonport Magistrates Court on October 18 and the investigation could take up to 12 months to conclude.

Flowers, soft toys and tributes are seen outside Hillcrest Primary School in Devonport, Tasmania on December 23, 2021. Credit: Bianca DeMarchi/AAP
People leave flowers and tributes outside Hillcrest Primary School in Devonport. Credit: Ethan James/AAP

McTaggart has had regular meetings with WorkSafe Tasmania, which is also investigating the incident.

“We want to reassure families and the community that WorkSafe Tasmania is doing everything we can to expedite the processes, while ensuring we maintain the integrity of what is a complex and wide-reaching investigation” WorkSafe executive director Robyn Pearce said.

The primary school students were enjoying end-of-year celebrations in December when a gust of wind flung the castle and several inflatable Zorb balls about 10m into the air.

The accident killed Jalailah Jayne-Marie Jones, Addison Stewart, Jye Sheehan, Zane Mellor, Peter Dodt and Chace Harrison.

(L-R) Zane Mellor, 12, Peter Dodt, 12, Addison Stewart, 11, Jye Sheehan, 12 and Jalailah Jayne-Marie Jones, 12, and Chace Harrison, 11. Credit: Tasmania Police

Three other students suffered serious injuries and spent time in hospital.

Tributes left outside the school were collected by Devonport City Council for the creation of a permanent memorial.

More than $1.4 million was raised for the families via a crowdfunding website.

The federal government pledged $800,000 to counselling and support for the region.

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Source: 7News