People expecting to see kites in the sky during a kite-flying festival in Taiwan were horrified after seeing a three-year-old girl suspended in the air tangled in the tail of a kite, Sunday.
Videos of the incident which circulated in social media showed how several people prepared the long-tailed kite amid the strong wind that already billowed it. There was also a crowd of viewers, who came to watch the international kite festival in the city of Hsinchu.
The crowd which was composed of dozens of families and onlookers cheered as the kite was released in the air. However, just a few moments later, the cheers were replaced with screams as people noticed that a girl was caught in the tail of the kite.
In the video, the screams of the horrified crown can be heard as they watched the child flung around in the air as the wind wildly blew the kite around. The child was in the air for more than 30 seconds before operators were able to lower down the kite to a safe altitude and the child has safely been dropped into the arms of the crowd.
According to CNN, how the child got caught in the tail of the kite still remains a mystery. Her distance from the kite set-up in the ground also remains unknown.
The girl was immediately brought to a nearby hospital by the festival's staff and her mother. Miraculously, the child only sustained minor injuries, including scratches and abrasions on her neck and face. The three-year-old was discharged from the hospital after treatment as administered and was sent home with her family.
Meanwhile, Mayor Lin Chih-Chien of Hsinchu apologized for the incident that involved the child. He then announced the suspension of the festival citing the danger it posed to the safety of the attendees.
Moreover, he added that an investigation will be carried out in order to hold people accountable. He also assured that a review will be done in order to prevent the same thing from happening again.
In a report by Taiwan News, Zhang Li Ke, a bureaucrat in the local government stated that the strong winds that were already blowing the kite while on the ground caused its tail to wrap around the stomach of the nearby child.
On the other hand, Taiwan-based Asian Kite Forum secretary-general, Chen Ko-fang stated that the kite that brought the child up in the air was supposed to drop lollies from the sky for the children. He also added that children were usually kept at a safe distance from the kites, however, the organizers of the event did not expect the sudden gusts of the wind.
The winds during Sunday's festival reached an unusual strength. It reached a 7 rating on the Beaufort scale; which means that the wind blew at about 32 to 38 miles per hour. The wind speed was very strong that it was only one tier below the level of gale winds.