Two children are dead and another 20 people are injured after a “dust devil” lifted an inflatable playhouse and other debris into the air in central China.
Chinese state media said the incident had taken place at a “scenic spot” in Henan province at about 3 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.
Shocking videos of the incident were shared widely on Chinese social media, showing a large, colorful, inflatable playhouse being picked up and carried high into the air as dust swirled through the area.
One other child was seriously injured and at least 17 children and two adults with left with minor injuries.
In a statement posted online, local authorities said treatment and psychological counseling was being provided to the victims and their families.
Zhang Xia, the chief weatherman at Henan’s meteorological observatory, said that the winds were a “dust devil.
Dust devils are created when hot air rises quickly through cooler air, causing a funnel-like whirlwind. They’re most likely to occur in flat areas, in warm conditions and when there is light or no wind.
Zhang said the dust devil had a 10-meter diameter (32 feet) and lasted for just three to four minutes.