Girl, 8, slipped off carnival ride and fell to her death after ignoring height restriction – World News

The Malaysian tourist who fell to her death in Australia was on her way when she was ejected at maximum force and at a speed of at least 100km/h

Adelene Leong died after being ejected from the Airmaxx 360.
Adelene Leong died after being ejected from the Airmaxx 360.

An eight-year-old girl fell to her death at the Royal Adelaide Show after ride operators disregarded safety instructions, a coroner has found.

Malaysian Adelene Leong attended the show in Australia with her mother on vacation in 2014.

During the Airmaxx 360 ride, she slipped out of her restraints and was thrown into the air before landing headfirst on the ground in front of her mother and several witnesses. She then died from the numerous injuries she sustained during the fall.

An inquest into Adelene’s death found that the ride was the first of its kind to be imported into Australia in 2013 but did not go through a required design registration process, instead certification was used for a similar ride.

The ride was bought by Jenny-Lee Sullivan and her husband, Clinton Watkins, who borrowed more than $1 million to buy it and soon found themselves in debt, often in breach of the terms of their loan.

Police and security officers inspect the Airmaxx 360 ride at the Royal Adelaide Show in Adelaide


AAP/PA images)

The pair specified a minimum height of 120cm for unaccompanied drivers, although the Spanish manufacturer recommended 140cm.

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

Assistant State Medical Examiner Ian White told the court on Wednesday that Adelene’s death was avoidable if operators had not ignored the manufacturer’s sizing guidelines.

“I am convinced that the owners deliberately withheld this information from all relevant authorities in order to extend the entitlement of the guests to ride the Airmaxx,” he said.

The girl who died was ejected from the Airmaxx 360 ride around 12:25 p.m. Friday


AAP/PA images)

When Adelene went on the ride, she was working at maximum power and at a speed of at least 100 km/h when she was ejected.

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

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

The coroner found that the staff was not properly trained.

Adelene’s mother spoke of her devastation, conveyed by her lawyer: “(It) has made my life almost uninhabitable that I have to live in a parallel world where I believe this didn’t happen.”

Two weeks after Adelene’s death, Ms Sullivan applied for the use of the Airmaxx at the Royal Sydney Show, still with the incorrect 120cm minimum height.

In a claim that was later withdrawn, she referenced an incident at the Adelaide show but claimed: “There was no fault on the part of the ride or the operator.”

The chief prosecutor opted in 2016 not to press charges over Adelene’s death.

But Sullivan and her company were later convicted in 2017 of violating workplace health and safety laws.

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

Mr White said: “There has to be a meaningful response to honor Adelene’s short life.

“Her death must be a reason for a fundamental change in the operation and management of high energy rides in Australia.”

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