No safety checklist for fatal show ride

Tim DorninAAP
An inquest has heard that a safety checklist had not been provided for the Airmaxx 360 ride.
Camera IconAn inquest has heard that a safety checklist had not been provided for the Airmaxx 360 ride.

An amusement ride connected to the death of an eight-year-old girl should not have been allowed to operate at the Royal Adelaide Show, an inquest has heard.

The inquiry into the death of Adelene Leong in 2014 heard on Friday that a safety checklist had not been provided by the operators of the Airmaxx 360 ride before the show opened that year.

The checklist was among a range of requirements for all rides.

Judith Noble, who was the project manager for the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society, which ran the show, told the inquest that it was subsequently found that the checklist had not been received.

It was not among "all relevant documentation" gathered after the incident, she said.

She agreed with a comment from coroner Ian White that it was the intent of that document that a ride not be cleared to operate in such circumstances.

Adelene had visited the show with her mother while on holiday from Malaysia.

While on the Airmaxx 360, she slipped out of restraints and was flung into the air before landing on the ground headfirst.

Counsel assisting Sally Giles previously told the inquiry that "what took place was nothing short of horrendous for everyone who witnessed it".

"[The ride] was unsafe, and a tragedy waiting to happen," she said.

Adelene died from multiple injuries but a rapid deceleration injury to the brain alone was enough to kill her.

Ms Giles also noted that the ride was the first of its kind to be imported into Australia in 2013, but did not undergo a required design registration process, instead using the certification for a similar ride.

The ride's operators imposed a minimum height requirement of 120cm, despite the manufacturer recommending 140cm.

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

In other evidence on Friday, one of the ride's deck attendants on the day of the girl's death, Amanda Minniken, told Mr White that she had buckled Adelene into her seat and pulled on her harness two or three times to ensure it was secure.

She said the girl "kind of shrugged" at her which gave her the impression she did not speak English.

At that point, Ms Minniken showed Adelene how to cross her arms across the harness and made sure she was sitting all the way back in the seat.

"I tried to explain slowly, but she didn't quite understand," she said.

"I pushed the harness down, locked it in. I remember telling her to do the crossover by holding the harness. I said that twice."

Ms Minniken told the inquest she did not realise anything was wrong until the ride stopped suddenly.

"It came to a very quick stop," she said.

The inquest will continue next week.

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