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Spin Dragon starts in Court

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A ROYAL Show ride that collapsed and injured 37 people received no maintenance for almost five years before the accident, a court heard today. The District Court was told bolts in the Spin Dragon ride that broke, dropping a 4.3 tonne gondola, had been in danger of snapping “for years”. Those injured in the incident are seeking compensation from the ride’s owner, manufacturer and maintenance team in a class action lawsuit. On September 2, 2000, a section of the Spin Dragon came loose and fell, bounced off the ride’s base platform and crashed into a queue of people. The court heard 44 of the 48 bolts connecting the gondola to rotating metal arms broke due to fatigue. The remaining four were “like stretched pieces of plasticine” and gave way to the tremendous weight exerted upon them. According to the manufacturer’s manual, the bolts were supposed to be tested after every 500 hours or use, or every six months. Peter Eriksen, for the victims, said that had never occurred. “The ride was in Australia for 54 months before this tragic incident,” he said. “Therefore there were eight times, at least, the bolts should have been checked, and were not. “No one, from the operator to the chief engineer, ever inspected or tested the bolts.” The trial, before Judge Dean Clayton, is continuing.,00.html

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