Child, 3, catches in kite strings and is lifted high into air in Taiwan | World news

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theguardian

A three-year-old girl in Taiwan has been caught up in the strings of a kite and lifted high into the air in front of horrified onlookers, before being rescued unharmed.

The unidentified girl was taking part in a kite festival on Sunday in the seaside town of Nanliao, near Hsinchu City, when she became entangled in a giant, long-tailed orange kite and was hoisted off the ground by several metres.

Video of the incident published in Taiwanese media showed several festival workers struggling to hold on to the lengthy tail in strong winds prior to the kite’s launch.

Dozens of onlookers and families were gathered nearby, cheering as the kite took off. However the cheers quickly turned into screams as they realised the the girl has been caught by the tail, and she was launched high into the air and flung around for more than 30 seconds before operators managed to lower the kite and the child dropped relatively softly into the arms of a gathered crowd.

News reports said the girl was frightened but suffered no physical injuries.

Local government bureaucrat, Zhang Li Ke, said the strong winds caused the tail to wrap around the stomach of the child.

Chen Ko-fang, secretary-general of the Taiwan-based Asian Kite Forum, said the kite was supposed to scatter lollies from the sky for children to catch below, Taiwan News reported. Chen said children were usually kept at a distance until the kite was in the air, but organisers weren’t expecting the sudden gusts, reported to have been a level seven on the Beaufort scale – or around 50-60km per hour.

Following the incident the mayor of Hsinchu city, Lin Chih-chien, issued a statement and public apology.

Lin said authorities immediately suspended all on-site activities to ensure the safety of the public in the high winds, and that municipal authorities had accompanied the family to hospital, where the young girl was cleared of injuries except some scratches to her neck.

“The city government team offers its sincere apology to the victim and the public.m We will review the incident to avoid such an accident from happening again. We will also investigate responsibility and conduct an in-depth review.”

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