Teen in fall was trying to get off ride
CARNIVAL chiefs today said a teenager who fell and was trapped in a fairground accident was trying to get off the ride before it had stopped.The 17-year-old girl had to be freed by emergency workers after her foot became trapped underneath one of the cars on the waltzer at the Felixstowe Carnival celebrations in Langer Park.
CARNIVAL chiefs today said a teenager who fell and was trapped in a fairground accident was trying to get off the ride before it had stopped.
The 17-year-old girl had to be freed by emergency workers after her foot became trapped underneath one of the cars on the waltzer at the Felixstowe Carnival celebrations in Langer Park.
Firefighters had to remove the car from the ride to rescue the girl, who was then strapped to a spinal board and taken to Ipswich Hospital suffering from suspected back injuries.
Carnival secretary Sandie Doran said witnesses said the girl had for some reason been trying to get off the ride before it had stopped, against the advice of the operators.
The riders were held firmly in the cars by a metal bar which could not be opened until the ride stopped when a safety mechanism would release it.
“Apparently, for some reason she stood up and tried to get out of the car before it had stopped and while it was still moving,” said Mrs Doran.
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“It appears she then tried to get under the bar holding her in the car, but she slid down and got her foot caught under the car.
“The emergency services were brilliant in the help they gave. It was just a really unfortunate accident -completely unforeseeable.”
The ride had been put back together again and then been checked by carnival chairman Peter Nunn, police and fire crews.
“If there had been anything wrong with the ride, we would have shut it down,” she added.
Mr Nunn said: “Travelling fairgrounds are far safer than static ones because they are put up and down every few days and so receive far more inspections and checks.
“It's their livelihood and there is no way they would allow a ride to be unsafe. I have seen them giving rides the most rigorous checks and even going off for spare parts if there is a problem.”
The accident has been reported to the Showmen's Guild and the Health and Safety Executive.
A spokesman for the HSE said: “We are aware of the incident and are investigating.”
The guild said there were 200 travelling funfairs operating between Easter and Bonfire Night, giving around 305 million rides a year - and the risk of being injured was calculated at 0.0000278 per cent.
Members followed a code of practice for safety and met EU standards. They worked closely with the HSE and there would be a full investigation and any measures needed to solve any problem would be put in place.
Did you see the accident? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk
Do you know the teenager involved. Ring the Evening Star Felixstowe Newsdesk on 01394 284109.