Kites and kids are a time-honored combination. On gusty days where kids still play outside, it’s not uncommon to see them attempting to get a kite airborne, often with a little help from mom or dad.
Flying kites is exhilarating and mesmerizing to watch, and kites go way beyond the small, child’s size toy. Plenty of adults fly kites, and there are kite festivals all over the world.
On Sunday, though, things went terribly wrong between a child and a kite at the international kite festival in Hsinchu, Taiwan.
Numerous video clips from that day show a sky filled with giant kites and inflatables. The wind was certainly strong that day, nearly 32 to 38 miles per hour, according to information obtained by CNN from Taiwan’s Central News Agency.
Winds that high are nearly gale-level, and at least one attendee got more of a taste of that than she bargained for.
Numerous people caught the incident on film. It started with several adults helping to hold a large, orange kite as it was being prepared for liftoff. The tail on the kite was incredibly long, and the wind whipped it back and forth.
As the front of the kite was lifted and began to take off, the admiration of the crowd turned to shrieks: Somehow, a 3-year-old girl had become entangled in the very end of the kite’s tail, and when the kite took off, it took her with it.
Screams continued while people watched from the ground, helpless as the kite’s tail with its precious cargo whipped back and forth, sending the girl some 100 feet into the air.
The girl was lashed back and forth for around 30 seconds.
Eventually, the tail dipped down low enough for a group of people to be able to grab the child and pull her down, freeing her from the fabric.
The girl was taken to the hospital, but she was released after medical professionals only found minor scrapes on her head and neck.
Thankfully she was saved and not too much the worse for wear, though this could have ended very differently.
According to Taiwan News, the kite was going to be used to drop candy from the sky as a fun treat for the kids in the crowd — but that never happened thanks to the scary turn of events.
The festival was suspended following the incident, and the city’s mayor, Lin Chih-chien, issued a statement on Facebook.
“The municipal team expresses its deepest apologies to the parties and the community at large, and we will review the reasons to avoid the recurrence of accidents, and we will take accountability and review them in depth,” a translation of his post reads.
It’s not entirely clear where the girl was standing or how the kite managed to tangle her up so badly, but it’s certain that the people involved will be keeping an eye on kite tails and kids in the future.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.