The Star, 14/10/2014
The recent case of an eight-year-old Malaysian girl, who was killed after being flung out of her seat from a spinning ride at the Royal Adelaide show, should serve as a bitter lesson to us with a view of preventing similar tragedies in Malaysia.
The mother of the girl, Adelene Leong, must have been traumatised given her description of her daughter as “my lovely beautiful...wonderful little angel of my heart”.
According to the report from Adelaide, the deceased was thrown from the AirMaxx 360 ride which had a height requirement.
The accident is now under investigation by the South Australian authority concerned and hopefully the report will be made public in due course.
The accident was most tragic and it is incumbent upon the authorities concerned to find out the actual cause so that such incidents can be prevented.
It could happen anyone if appropriate preventive measures are not taken.
In Malaysia, our concern is that occasionally there are amusement centres and fun fairs that have games and spinning rides.
In view of this, there are a number of issues which need to be looked into in the interest of safety.
The height limitation is enforced to gauge if a person is capable of properly utilising the safety restraints (seat belt/bar) provided.
There is a false assumption that riders who clear the height limitation understand the dangers associated with the restraint not properly worn or applied.
Safety checks must be conducted before a ride take-off to prevent any elements of neglect by the crew and operator.
The safety mechanisms, including seat restraints, must be regularly checked and maintained before each ride.
Questions that need to be looked into include: Are the ride operators/crew adequately trained by the ride manufacturer?
Is there an operation manual to ensure the proper operation of each ride?
Rides at permanent amusement parks may have a system in place but it will be better to subject them to regular audits.
It should be the concern of amusement park operators as well as that of the relevant authorities to ensure spinning rides at mobile circuses and fun-fairs are safe at all times.
TAN SRI LEE LAM THYE