An investigation is underway following a distressing incident where a girl was compelled to leap from Australia’s ‘tallest traveling freefall ride’ while it was in motion.
Holly Brown and her friend Ava visited the Kilcoy Show in Queensland on Saturday, May 13, seeking a day of fun at the fair. However, their excitement turned into a nightmare when they boarded the Mega Drop ride, renowned for its ascent to approximately 30 meters before a rapid descent at speeds reaching 210 km/h.
To their horror, as the ride commenced, Holly and Ava discovered that their safety restraints had failed to secure properly. Holly’s restraint swung open above her head, while Ava’s remained pressed against her chest but unlocked, according to 9 News.
Having ridden the ride before, both girls were aware of the towering heights it reached before hurtling back to the ground. Faced with a split-second decision, Holly had to choose between desperately holding onto the ride or jumping down to the steel platform approximately six meters below, which continued to rise.
According to Holly, the ride attendant promptly recognized the issue and attempted to secure the safety restraints by grabbing onto the ascending platform. Unfortunately, the attendant slipped and fell three meters, leaving him with no option but to shout at the girls to jump off.
Holly recalled, “I knew what was going to happen. So I thought, ‘Well, I either jump and maybe I break a few bones or I go up and die.’ So I was like, ‘You know what, breaking bones is better than losing my life.’ So I jumped.”
Holly cannot recall the moment she jumped, suggesting she may have blacked out. Her next memory is of being in severe pain, lying in her friend’s mother’s lap.
Ava, unable to join Holly in the leap, remained trapped on the rising ride. Fortunately, the attendant swiftly reached the emergency stop button, preventing further ascent.
However, with no visibility between the two girls, Ava was left in a state of panic, unable to hear her mother’s screams of relief upon learning that Holly had survived.
Holly sustained a fracture in her right foot and received medical attention at the scene. The incident is now under investigation by Queensland Workplace Health and Safety, with inspectors and engineers examining the circumstances.