Girl flung to her death from 62mph fairground ride she was 3cm too short for

An eight-year-old girl tragically plunged to her death on a fairground ride going at 62mph after the recommended height requirement was ignored, a coroner has found.

Malaysian Adelene Leong was on holiday with her mum in Australia in 2014 and was visiting the Royal Adelaide Show when the horror accident happened.

The young girl slipped from her restraints on the Airmaxx 360 ride, crashing headfirst into the ground in front of her horrified mum.

Adelene sustained multiple injuries and died.

An inquest into the tragedy heard that the ride did not undergo a required design registration process after it was imported into Australia in 2013.

Instead, owners Jenny-Lee Sullivan and her husband Clinton Watkins used the certification for a similar ride, reports the Mirror.

The couple borrowed more than a million dollars for the purchase and soon found themselves in debt because of it, often breaching the terms of their loan.

The pair imposed a minimum height requirement of 120cm for unaccompanied riders despite the Spanish manufacturer recommending 140cm.

Adelene was 137cm tall when she fell to her death.

Deputy State Coroner Ian White told the court on Wednesday (June 1) that Adelene’s death was preventable had the operators not ignored the manufacturer’s height requirement.

“I am satisfied that the owners deliberately concealed this information from all the relevant authorities for the purpose of expanding the eligibility of patrons to ride on the Airmaxx,” he said.

When Adelene went on the ride it was operating at maximum force and a speed of at least 100km/h (62mph) when she was flung out.

Just before she was ejected she was hanging from her seat upside down by her left ankle.

Watkins had mostly assembled the ride himself, with some clarification on certain aspects in emails to the manufacturer.

The coroner also found that staff were not properly trained.

Adelene’s mother spoke of her devastation, relayed by her lawyer: "(It) has made my life almost unliveable so that I have to live in a parallel world where I believe this did not happen."

Two weeks after Adelene died, Sullivan applied for the Airmaxx to operate at the Royal Sydney Show, still with the incorrect minimum height of 120cm.

In an application that was later withdrawn, she referred to an incident at the Adelaide show but claimed: "There has been no fault on the ride or operators' behalf."

The Director of Public Prosecutions in 2016 opted not to pursue criminal charges regarding Adelene's death, but Sullivan and her company were later convicted in 2017 of breaching workplace health and safety laws.

The coroner recommended urgent reforms of amusement rides in Australia, including the implementation of a nationwide regulatory process, a database of design registration numbers and better vetting of ride inspectors.

Mr White said: "There needs to be a meaningful response to honour Adelene's short life. Her death must be a cause for fundamental change in the operation and governance of high energy rides in Australia.”

For the latest breaking news and stories from across the globe from the Daily Star, sign up for our newsletter by clicking here.

Source: Read Full Article