[Last update: August 31 16:13]
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A three-year-old girl was pulled violently into the sky by a large kite after a strong gust hit Hsinchu's Nanliao Harbor on Sunday (Aug. 30).
The 2020 International Kite Festival kicked off this weekend in Hsinchu, a northwestern city famous for its high winds. The incident occurred on Sunday afternoon when a kite with a long tail was accidentally sent flying by a sudden gust.
A three-year-old girl surnamed Lin, whose torso had somehow become entangled in one end of the kite, was instantly pulled into the sky along with it.
Based on footage shared on social media, the girl appears to have swung violently in the air for several seconds before someone pulled the kite to the ground. A group of people then managed to catch the girl when she fell, and the scene was filled with shouting.
The girl only suffered mild scratches to her face and neck. Accompanied by her mother, she was immediately sent to the hospital by event staffers.
The city government, which organized the festival, called off the entire event shortly after the incident. Mayor Lin Chih-chien (林智堅) apologized later via Facebook.
“The city government team offers its sincere apology to the victim and the public,” said Lin, adding that the authorities will start an investigation into the incident so as to prevent the accident from happening again in the future.
Chen Ko-fang (鄭可方), secretary-general of the Taiwan-based Asian Kite Forum, said the kite was supposed to carry candy that would be scattered in the sky for children to catch. She said kids would usually be kept at a distance until the kite was airborne and that the organizers did not expect the sudden strong wind, which reportedly measured a level 7 on the Beaufort Scale.
The kite festival celebrated its fourth anniversary this year with shows put on by over a dozen professional kite fliers as well as an exhibition of kites organized by local and foreign artisans.