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Over Three Dozen People Hurt When Amusement Ride Collapses in AustraliaAired September 3, 2000 - 9:13 a.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: More than three dozen people on an amusement ride at a carnival in Australia were hurt when the ride collapsed and fell, throwing its passengers to the ground. The accident happened at the Royal Adelaide Show in southern Australia.
Reporter Matthew Watson of Australia's National Nine News has the details.
MATTHEW WATSON, NATIONAL NINE NEWS REPORTER (voice-over): Many of the injured were standing underneath the Spin Dragon when it collapsed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It just fell, and people were trapped.
WATSON: Witnesses say there was almost no chance of escaping.
CALBE SUTHERLAND, WITNESS: As soon as it kind of made a crunch, I did a -- you know, did the bolt, tried to get out of the barrier, and I got out of the way. As soon as it crashed I went down and saw my mates, and, you know, a few of them were pinned up underneath.
WATSON: Twenty people were on the ride when it crashed eight meters to the ground. One of those, a 15-year-old girl, managed to alert her mother using a mobile phone.
LEE KIRTLAND, MOTHER OF VICTIM: She said that, you know, that her and her friends had come off a ride and they'd landed on top of people. And she is just beside herself.
WATSON: In all, 37 young people were injured, 27 were taken to hospital last night. Eight, mainly Asian students, remain, two in a critical condition after undergoing emergency surgery.
Despite the tragedy, the show reopened today, South Australia's minister responsible for workplace safety joining investigators at the scene.
NICHOLAS WILSON, CHIEF INVESTIGATOR: Somehow the seating platform has come loose from the main bearing, and obviously then falling onto the structure and onto the ground. BRIANNA WEEKS, VICTIM: It just started jolting and making all these noises, and then it just sort of -- one side broke, then the other side broke, and then it just collapsed.
WATSON: Investigators say it's too early to explain why the ride passed a safety test on Friday and had been operating without incident in Brisbane. Show organizers are devastated, the accident coming on the second day of the annual event.
GARY CAMPBELL, SHOW DIRECTOR: We've been running the Royal Show for 148 years, and I don't believe we've had an accident of this dimension before.
WATSON: It'll be midweek before investigators finalize a report into what went wrong.
Matthew Watson, National Nine News.
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