Revellers in China were left in shock when a small boy was blasted high into the air while playing in a water feature.

The five-year-old was splashing about happily in a new water feature in the central city of Enshi, when he was suddenly catapulted 10 feet above the ground.

The boy was propelled by a stream of high-pressure water, which exploded into life beneath his feet.

The force of the water kept him in the air for a few seconds, above the heads of other youngsters enjoying the brightly lit pavement fountain.

Then the torrent abruptly cut off, sending the schoolboy plummeting back to the ground where he landed head-first on concrete.

He is recovering in hospital from the episode, in which his clothes were ripped and torn.

Father Wan Lu said warning signs should have been in place about how powerful the water jets under the pavement are.

Lu said: "One minute our boy was splashing happily in the water, the next he was flying through the air screaming.

"It was so strong his trousers were ripped to shreds and when he landed he went down face first and his nose started bleeding."

But state officials for the area said it was the family's responsibility. A spokesman said: "They should have kept a closer eye on him. It was quite obvious that this water was very powerful."