‘We’re going to die’: Ferris wheel horror
THREE Smith's chips promotion workers were left clinging for their lives screaming "we are going to die" after the door of their ferris wheel carriage was torn off mid flight.
The terrified young women said as they reached the high point, the door became caught on something, and "ripped off and fell to the ground". The carriage then did a "lurch forward" causing two of the women to fall on the third, causing one to injure her hand, they told the ABC.
One of the women, a 21-year-old, later required treatment on her hand at Sydney Hospital.
The three women, two of which didn't want to be identified, were left upset and distressed after the freak accident.
Angie Kelly, the mother of one of the women, said the girls were screaming to each other, "We are going to die, we are going to die."
"They were inches from tragedy," Mr Kelly said. "It could have been an eight-year-old child or someone without the composure and strength to hold on."
She said her 24-year-old daughter was able to stay calm while the girls clung for their lives, trying to comfort her screaming friends.
"But as soon as it was all over she lost her composure and was hysterical and distressed on the phone to me," Ms Kelly added.
The ferris wheel, installed at the Overseas Passenger Terminal in Circular Quay in Sydney's CBD, is part of Smith's chips "Spin to Win" campaign.
The campaign was advertised this morning on Channel 9's Today show, with TV host and former Wheel of Fortune star John Burgess making regular appearances to spruik the ad blitz.
The Today show made no mention of the ferris wheel mishap.
The mother told the ABC after the tragic deaths following a ride malfunction at Dreamworld she expected more from operators.
"I'm enraged that they didn't provide a safe working environment for my daughter and I'm enraged that members of the public were put at risk because of a casual attitude to safety," Ms Kelly said.
Pepsico, who own The Smith's Snackfood Company said the ride had not yet been opened to members of the public when the young women were on board. According to a statement issued to the ABC, after it malfunctioned they stopped the ferris wheel immediately.
"Safety is our top priority, and we deeply regret that this occurred," the statement said.
"Comprehensive safety checks were undertaken and usage permits were granted before the ferris wheel was operational.
"We are working closely with our supplier to understand how this happened."
Pepsico said the ferris wheel would not reopen until both the company and the relevant authorities were satisfied of its safety.