Woman claims second injury on ride

A SECOND reveller today claimed she was also injured on the Waltzer ride at Felixstowe Carnival's funfair - less than two hours after the first accident.

A SECOND reveller today claimed she was also injured on the Waltzer ride at Felixstowe Carnival's funfair - less than two hours after the first accident.

Melanie Leaming, 28, said she had fallen out of her seat on the ride and cut and bruised her leg.

Earlier in the evening, a 17-year-old girl had to be freed by emergency workers after her foot became trapped after she somehow slid down under the bar of the cart she was in on the Waltzer.

She was strapped to a spinal board and taken to Ipswich Hospital suffering from suspected back injuries.

Miss Leaming, of Fletcher Road, Ipswich, said she had been on the ride with her friend Laura Wheatley, 27, of Alderman Road, Ipswich, at about 10.15pm on Sunday.

“When the car started spinning Laura was pinned to the back of it but I started to slip under the bar,” said mother-of-three Miss Leaming.

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“I lost my flip-flop and cut my leg and was shouting for them to stop the ride but no-one could hear me. All I could do was hang on to the bar and keep trying to pull myself back up.

“I just kept praying the ride would be over quick - it was horrendous.”

Miss Leaming had not been aware of the earlier accident until she read about it in The Evening Star. It was the only ride the pair went on and they left immediately afterwards.

Marc James, regional representative of the Fairground Association of Great Britain and who was helping out on the ride at the time of the first accident, said the bars people held on to did not lock into place on Waltzers and the centrifugal force held people in their seats.

He said the woman had somehow “slid down” from her seat but did not get trapped under the car.

“In 19 years of working on Waltzers, I have never come across anything like this,” said Mr James, of Felixstowe.

“There was nothing wrong with the ride at all and I have never seen anyone slide down from their seat before.”

Carnival organisers have said the teenager had apparently been trying to stand up and get off the ride before it had stopped and then slid down under the bar.

The accident has been reported to the Showmen's Guild and to the Health and Safety Executive, which is investigating.

The Evening Star is still trying to contact the owner of the Waltzer involved.

Did you see the accident? Were you the woman injured in the first accident? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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