Fairground ride ‘started with girl unrestrained’

A fairground ride started to operate with a girl unrestrained, according to the child’s mother and an accompanying friend.

The incident reportedly occurred on Friday evening at Neath Fair, which takes place in South Wales each September.

It is not presently clear on which model of travelling ride the incident is said to have taken place.

Judith Newell went to board the ride with her friend’s 6-year-old daughter Ffion Lewis.

She told the South Wales Evening Post: “We stepped onto the ride and the attendant saw us go past and showed us to an empty cart.

“We went to the empty cart and I lifted Ffion into there. But I could not work out the seatbelt. The hand bar was in the air and I said, ‘hang on I’ll go and get the man’. The tannoy came on and I was two steps from the cart.”

Miss Newell, 26, told the newspaper that the ride was activated and began to move with the girl unrestrained.

‘Flying out of her seat’

“It was the most terrifying experience I have ever had,” she said.

“I said ‘stop the ride’. I could not jump on because the cart swept past me. I would have grabbed her if I could.

“The ride went up and down. The bar was up in the air and she was flying out of her seat. She was holding onto the side and screaming and crying. Kayley went white when she saw me. She could see I was not on the ride with Ffion. She was terrified.

“The ride was on for 30 to 40 seconds until it was stopped. My heart was in my throat. We complained to the steward.”

The girls’ mother Kayley Lewis added: “I feel so lucky that she did not fall and the bar did not hit her. She had a few bruises but it was nothing. We would like an apology. My concern is there might be a fault with the ride because the ride started when the bar was in the air.”

The Showman’s Guild (SG) manages the running of funfairs and the attendance of individual ride owners’ equipment at each event.

An SG spokesman said: “An incident has been reported to the section office of the Showmen’s Guild which is being fully investigated. I cannot comment any further until the investigation has been completed.”