A 25-year-old woman who fell from a carnival ride in Far North Queensland late on Saturday is in a critical but stable condition in hospital. The incident happened at about 5:30pm at the Cairns showgrounds at Parramatta Park.
The woman fell from a ride called The Hangover — a two-armed ride that swings people through the air — sustaining critical injuries.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and paramedics treated the woman at the scene before she was taken to the Cairns Base Hospital. Cairns Show Association president Ian Allen said the event was run by an independent third party.
“The event there was not run by the Cairns Show Association,” he said. “It was hired by an independent group called Showfest. We leased the ground out to them.”
Acting Police Inspector Brett Jenkins said the woman suffered “quite serious” injuries and was “very lucky” to be alive.
“She is stable and being closely monitored by medical teams in the intensive care unit in the Cairns Base Hospital,” he said.
“Any incident like this is a tragedy, especially at a time when people are together and having fun. It certainly shocks the community.
Acting Inspector Jenkins confirmed a family member had been on the ride with the woman when the accident happened.
“Obviously the whole family’s distressed about what’s occurred,” he said.
‘She just dropped head-first’. Darnell Addo said he saw the “terrible” moment the woman fell from the ride. “At the time she was at the very top … and she just dropped head-first,” he said.
“It was just a big bang … I was just in shock.”
Mr Addo said he heard an operator of the ride tell panicked onlookers: “the machine is on a timer, I can’t stop it”.
He had just purchased a ticket for the ride and was waiting in line when the accident happened.
“It could have been me,” Mr Addo said. “I’m probably never going to go on a ride in my life again after that.”
Mr Allen said as president he could close the event down but was instructed by police that would not be necessary at this stage.
“But the [Hangover] ride cannot operate, nor the ride next door, until they do their investigation,” he said.
He said his thoughts were with the woman and her family.
“Just to have anyone having an accident at any event, not whether it’s the Cairns Show or anything but you just don’t want to have anything like that,” he said. “I’d just like to send out my sympathy to the family there … that this tragic accident has happened.”
Queensland police and Workplace Health and Safety are investigating. Police are appealing for anyone who may have video or information related to the incident to come forward.
Source: ABC News