Easter Show ride closed over safety concerns

A troubling picture of a four-year-old who was unsecured on a popular show ride has prompted the government to step in over safety concerns.

An image of a four-year-old boy who was unfastened on a popular Sydney Easter Show ride has prompted a safety investigation.

The image, circulated widely online on Sunday night, shows the boy on a free-fall ride with his safety restraint open.

Fair Trading Minister Eleni Petinos announced an investigation the following day.

SafeWork NSW will determine whether the Free Fall ride should be closed for the remainder of the Show.

Minister Petinos warned of “severe consequences” for operators who fail to deliver on safety standards.

“Safety is my number one priority and any operator who fails to provide the highest level of safety standards should face severe consequences and that is why I’ve instructed SafeWork NSW to explore all available avenues,” Ms Petinos said.

“I have instructed SafeWork NSW to explore shutting the Free Fall ride for the remainder of the 2022 Sydney Royal Easter Show, if patrons’ safety cannot be guaranteed. The ride has been closed pending investigation.”

Witnesses spotted the boy unfastened on the ride – which travels to a high point before “freefalling” back down – on Sunday afternoon and yelled out to alert show staff.

The operator then pressed the ride’s emergency stop button, The Daily Telegraph reported.

“The (operator) girl stopped the ride but didn’t get out of her booth, so another father ended up getting him to climb down to him,” the boy’s mum, Sky Boustani Curtis, said.

“Myself and my husband were not tall enough to reach him,” she said.

Another parent who saw the incident warned others to keep an eye on their kids while at the show.

“Be careful, parents! Sydney Royal Easter Show today. Luke captured this negligence that unfolded in front of so many patrons, who had to scream in order to make that woman stop the ride,” she posted on Facebook.

“The bar was never put down and she started the ride with no notice or checks.

“Make sure you’re watching the way they strap your child into a ride because clearly some of these operators are not doing their job and duty of care! Shameful, no excuses!”

A specialist engineering team will have a continued presence at the show, even once the investigation is concluded.

Originally published as Shocking pic sees ride shut over safety concerns

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