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Incident on Darwin show ride leaves two people injured and children stuck

Incident on Darwin show ride leaves two people injured and children stuck
May 19, 2019

A woman and her son have been taken to hospital with minor injuries after a carnival ride accident at the Freds Pass Show in the Northern Territory.

One of the arms of the Octopus Ride snapped and a cabin crashed to the ground yesterday at the Show, which is staged on a site 30 kilometres to the south west of Darwin.

St John Ambulance staff treated the pair after the Octopus Ride carriage they were in hit the ground, twisting the metal arms attached to it at a 90-degree angle.

The woman appeared to be unconscious in the metal carriage and was being shaded by show staff as paramedics prepared to take her to hospital.

She was taken to Palmerston Regional Hospital with a leg injury and was discharged on Saturday evening.

Eight children in the other carriages were left stranded in the air for about 25 minutes, Freds Pass Rural Show Committee spokesman John McNeur advised.

Water was tossed up to the children while they waited to be rescued by emergency services.

Witness Aaron Abbott said there was a "big thud" when the ride carriage fell about two metres to the ground.

Abbott told the ABC "(I saw) a few people run, then we just come for a walk over and we seen the arm bent on that ride, and a lady sort of in a bit of pain.

"A few people were comforting her straight away, there was a shade put up.

"Everyone was pretty quick actually, it was a bit of an experience."

Northern Territory Police Senior Sergeant Dean Elliott said the Northern Territory Fire and Rescue Service, assisted by emergency services volunteers, "were able to assist the stranded ride patrons using a scissor lift platform".

He added "both the injured individuals were transported to hospital with minor injuries."

McNeur said a malfunction appeared to be behind the incident, explaining "one of the sideshow octopus rides appears to have had a malfunction on one of the arms, bringing that arm to the ground, and at that stage leaving eight people suspended in the ride as it was active when it was brought to a halt.

"As happens in any public events like this, NT WorkSafe move and check the maintenance records in respect to all show rides in the form of an audit."

He said WorkSafe had already spent "a considerable amount" of time at the site during the week and had already begun to investigate the incident.

However, NT Worksafe said claims it had checked all rides thoroughly were incorrect.

In a statement they advised "the responsibility of checking the safety of a ride sits with the ride owner and the engineer they engage."

McNeur concluded "we are a community-run show … but rest assured, our risk preparedness, our risk response, our risk recovery are all things that sit very much forefront in terms of the committee's priority."

Image shows the ride after yesterday's incident at the Freds Pass Show. Courtesy of the ABC.

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14th December 2016 - Non-Compliance in attractions and entertainment has its costs

15th June 2016 - Ride owners charged over Royal Adelaide Show fatality

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11th December 2014 - Carnival ride worker crushed to death in Queensland

5th July 2012 - Safe Work Australia invites public comment on Amusement Devices Codes of Practice

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