Police investigate serious accident at Cairns Showgrounds

Ride safety under scrutiny after horror Showfest fall

DESPITE revelations some unused Showfest rides had "mechanical issues", an industry-wide shutdown has been ruled out in the wake of a horrific showground injury that left a young woman fighting for life.

On Saturday afternoon, a 25-year-old woman sustained critical injuries when she plunged 30m into the hydraulic workings of the Hangover ride at Cairns Showfest.

Ahead of the Townsville event on October 16 and 17, organisers published on the event's website that "many rides have mechanical issues and are still on their way here".

"They must be 100 per cent safe of course. So there are some rides that might not get there," the website read.

The scene of a workplace accident, where a 25 year old female fell a 30 metres from an amusement ride at the Cairns Showgrounds, suffering multiple critical injuries. Picture: Brendan Radke
The scene of a workplace accident, where a 25 year old female fell a 30 metres from an amusement ride at the Cairns Showgrounds, suffering multiple critical injuries. Picture: Brendan Radke

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The website has since been updated to include a list of rides that operated at Showfest Cairns. The Hangover was listed as one such ride.

Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said the incident had been harrowing for all.

"It's very traumatising for not only the witnesses - it would have been very confronting for our crews," he said.

He said there were strict safety guidelines in place to prevent such accidents.

"Clearly (there) will be an investigation into what led to that girl falling," he said.

"Clearly something went wrong; it's not a matter of laying blame but rather to work out what caused it. Everyone in the entire industry will be looking at the findings of the investigation."

People look on in horror after a 25-year-old woman fell about 30m from the Hang Over ride at the Cairns Showfest. PICTURE: SCREENSHOT
People look on in horror after a 25-year-old woman fell about 30m from the Hang Over ride at the Cairns Showfest. PICTURE: SCREENSHOT

Mr Crawford said people had a right to be protected from injury on carnival rides and he wanted people to enjoy amusements safely but a complete stop on travelling thrill rides was premature.

"I think it's a bit early to make that call; we need to allow investigators to do their jobs then if necessary we can have those conversations," he said.

"It's unfair to say all amusement rides on the travelling circuit are unsafe; let's wait for the findings and take it from there."

A Workplace Health and Safety Queensland spokeswoman said: "The incident is currently being investigated … therefore we are unable to provide further comment at this stage."

The woman critically injured on the ride remained in a stable condition late Monday. Showfest promoter Bryan Loft was contacted for comment. 

Originally published as Ride safety under scrutiny after horror fall in Cairns



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