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Ferris Wheel accident at Byron Bay Blues Festival

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Three girls hurt in ferris wheel terror plunge A FERRIS wheel cage fell from a ride last night, slamming into the side of the structure as it plummeted 8m to the ground. Three terrified girls - two 15-year-old Queenslanders and a 16-year-old from Byron Bay - inside the cage were injured when it fell at the Byron Bay Bluesfest about 7.15pm. Witnesses watched in horror as the cage began to shake and come loose as it reached the apex of the ride. The girls were reportedly able to climb from the cage after it crashed to the ground. Three other cages on the two-storey 12-cage ride were filled with patrons at the time of the accident. Hundreds of onlookers immediately ran to see what happened. Police said the girls were taken to Tweed Hospital with neck and limb injuries as well as cuts and bruises. All three were in a stable condition last night with the injuries not considered serious. Labrador resident Erin Donkin, 23, had just been on the ride when she turned around and saw the cage fall. "There were three or four people in there, all on the one side which makes it unbalanced," she said. "They got caught on the structure, it got unhinged and just fell to the ground." Ms Donkin was shocked at how close she came to disaster. "I was thinking to myself while I was up there, `This is so high, what would happen if I fell'," she said. "I won't be getting back on a ferris wheel any time soon." She said at least 200 people crowded around the scene trying to find out what happened, before security pushed them back. Ms Donkin said the crowd did not get in the way of ambulance workers because there was an emergency entrance near the ride. Police were investigating the incident last night. The WorkCover Authority was also reviewing what caused the accident. A Bluesfest organiser said the ferris wheel was operated by a private contractor and not associated with the festival.
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/thre...9-1225850193114 Thought some of you might be interested in this story that happened last night at the Byron Bay Blues Festival, and what some peoples thoughts are.

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I heard about this on the radio today... I always think "what if" when I'm on a ride like that. It's more than unnerving that it actually happened. I hope whoever was responsible, for whatever reason, doesn't ever operate/work on an amusement ride ever again... :/

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How awful! In full honesty, I don't think that Ferris Wheel looks safe. Because there were three to four people riding the same cage, I guess none of the cages could support that much weight. Needless to say, there should be a weight policy on these particular Ferris Wheels in order to prevent accidents like that from recurring.

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Because there were three to four people riding the same cage, I guess none of the cages could support that much weight.
Problem was that it was only 3 teenagers in the said falling cage
Care to explain what you mean?

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That looks to be the same model as the one up at Aussie World. If so, i've seen 3 adults and 2 children fit comfortably inside without limits. I think the comments were that with 3 people sitting ON THE ONE SIDE of the gondola made it unbalanced. If the operators had loaded all the gondola's on one side, that would also make the whole structure unbalanced. In general, rotating rides like that tend to load opposite sides together to keep the weight balanced, so if the guests were all loaded in gondolas one after the other, instead of diagonally opposite, that would spell trouble too.

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so if the guests were all loaded in gondolas one after the other, instead of diagonally opposite, that would spell trouble too.
Which brings me back to this:
I hope whoever was responsible, for whatever reason, doesn't ever operate/work on an amusement ride ever again... :/

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Collision indeed Gazza... I was there though didn't see it happen. Word got around pretty quickly and the operators of the ferris wheel didn't exactly try any damage control by spinning the wheel around a bit more to not have the space of the missing gondola at the very top for 15,000+ to see. Personally I've never understood the thinking behind carnival rides at music festivals, especially in Byron Bay where the constant rainfall means that all the stages are concealed within giant circus tents so you can't see any performers or even the crowds. Your most likely riders with this sort of attraction at a festival are drunk teens. If rider error/misbehaviour like rocking the gondola or sitting incorrectly is able to cause one to become unhinged then the issue isn't rider error, it's operator negligence.

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