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‘Full of life’: Devastated aunt pays tribute to boy lost in Tasmania bouncy castle tragedy

The aunt of a boy who died in Tasmania’s bouncy castle tragedy has paid tribute as his tight-knit community grapples with the loss.

Peter Dodt was enjoying his final day of primary school when he and four classmates were killed after a gust of wind lifted a jumping castle 10 metres into the air.

The 12-year-old’s aunt Tamara Scott paid tribute to her nephew in a GoFundMe made to support his devoted single dad, Andrew, navigate the devastating time ahead.

“My brother Andrew lost his son Peter due to an incident at school in Devonport, Tasmania,” she wrote.

Hillcrest Primary school Tragedy
Camera IconPeople gather outside the Hillcrest Primary School. NCA Newswire / Grant Viney Credit: NCA NewsWire

“Peter was a young 12-year-old boy who was full of life and adventures.”

Fellow grade six students Zane Mellor and Addison Stewart were also among the five pupils killed in the tragedy.

Loved ones of both children have started GoFundMe pages to support their devastated families.

Addison’s aunt Meghan Aherne said the 12-year-old was “sweet kind, old soul” who leaves behind “devastated” parents.

“I’m hoping to raise some money for my brother and sister in-law to help pay for funeral costs and to pay off some bills for them while they try and navigate life without their precious daughter,” she wrote.

“They have another daughter and son to take care of and I’m hoping to alleviate some of the stress of bills.”

Hillcrest Primary tragedy victim, Addison Stewart.
Camera IconHillcrest Primary tragedy victim, Addison Stewart. Credit: Supplied
Zane Mellor died in the Tasmanian tragedy.
Camera IconZane Mellor died in the Tasmanian tragedy. Credit: Supplied

A fundraiser for Zane’s mother was set up by friend Grace Johnston and has so far raised $44,000, with donations pouring in from Australians across the country.

“Zane was such a beautiful caring, gentle soul who had challenges growing up with his autism and ADHD but that never set him back he kept achieving,” she wrote.

“We would like to help raise some funds to assist Georgie and her family in this hard time after the tragic loss of her gorgeous boy.”

Devastated police officers at the scene of a jumping castle accident. Credit: Monte Bovill for ABC News
Camera IconDevastated police officers at the scene of a jumping castle accident. Credit: Monte Bovill for ABC News Credit: ABC

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said there were “no words, there can only be prayers” when speaking about the tragedy on Friday.

He said he and his wife Jenny wanted to extend their deepest sympathies to everyone torn apart by the tragedy.

Mr Morrison said he was talking to the Tasmanian Premier about programs of support that could be offered.

“I know people will be in shock, be in grief, in disbelief,” he said.

“I will assure them we will do everything we can to support you through this time, not just today, but into the weeks and months ahead as you somehow seek to process this terrible, tragic event.

devonport
Camera IconScene at Hillcrest Primary School in Devonport where the accident took place. Rob Burnett Credit: News Corp Australia

“Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Tasmania but particularly the families who lost their children. As a parent there are no words. There can only be prayers.”

More than 40 Grade 5 and 6 students were participating in celebrations on the school oval at the time of the accident.

Three children remain in a critical condition and another has been released from hospital and is recovering at home.

Support has been put in place for the school community, including counsellors and chaplains for use over the holiday period.

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