Girl, 8, fell from fairground ride to death in front of her mother after height restriction ignored | The Sun

AN EIGHT-year-old girl tragically died after falling from a fairground ride as operators ignored the height restriction.

Little Adelene Leong, who was on holiday in Adelaide, Australia from Malaysia was thrown ten metres from her seat while riding an Airmaxx 360.


The tragic incident happened in 2014, with the girl being rushed to the hospital after suffering critical injuries.

Sadly, medics were unable to save her.

An inquest into Adelene’s death heard that the ride was the first of its kind to be imported into Australia but did not undergo a required design registration process.

The certification for a similar ride was used instead, 7News reported.

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And even though the original manufacturer recommended a minimum height requirement of 140cm for unaccompanied riders, they imposed 120cm.

Adelene was 137cm tall at the time of her death.

The inquest also heard the ride was operating at maximum force and a speed of at least 100km/h when Adelene was ejected.

Moments before her death, she had been hanging from her seat upside down by her left ankle.

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The ride was bought by couple Jenny-Lee Sullivan and Clinton Watkins, from Spain and was imported into Australia in 2013.

The pair borrowed over a million dollars to pay for the ride leading them to fall into debt.

Deputy State Coroner Ian White said the girl's death was "inexcusable" and could have been prevented.

He said: “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”.

Adelene’s heartbroken mum said in a statement through 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 outlining a 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In an application that was later withdrawn, she referred to an incident at the Adelaide show but claimed: “there has been no fault on the ride or operators’ behalf”.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.

Sullivan and her company were convicted in 2017 of breaching workplace health and safety laws but were found to be unable to pay any financial penalties.

The coroner suggested urgent reforms of amusement rides in Australia.

He added: "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."

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Back in 2019, a woman was rushed to hospital with serious injuries after falling from the Airmaxxx 360 at a Hull fair.

The young woman who was thrown "ten to 15 feet" from the ride crashed into a teen boy who suffered minor injuries.

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