Terrifying moment mum flung from London funfair ride while horrified daughter watches on, as bosses sentenced

16 May 2024, 09:42 | Updated: 16 May 2024, 09:45

Footage shows moment woman is catapulted from fairground ride

By Christian Oliver

This is the horrifying moment a mother was hurled through the air from a funfair ride - leaving her in a coma and fighting for her life.

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Khadra Ali spent four months in hospital after she was ejected from the Xcelerator ride at the Funderpark funfair in Yiewsley, west London, on April 10 2018.

The mother, who was on the ride with her daughter, had not been properly restrained in her seat when she was thrown from the ride, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said.

Ms Ali "screamed for help" and tried to cling on while the ride continued to spin around but was ejected into the air. Her body then slammed into the barrier of the next ride while her horrified daughter watched on.

She suffered multiple fractures to her back, hips, pelvis, ribs, and both collarbones as well as internal bleeding and a significant head injury.

The mother had not been properly restrained in her seat when she was thrown from the ride, the HSE said
The mother had not been properly restrained in her seat when she was thrown from the ride, the HSE said. Picture: PA

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The injuries left Ms Ali, now 51, unable to do chores or activities with her children, the HSE said - as its investigation found the ride's seat restraint system was designed with electrical and mechanical failings by manufacturer Perrin Stevens Limited.

The executive found that the control system on the ride was set up in such a way that it would not have detected all failures.

Derek Hackett, the ride owner trading as Hackett Fairs, failed to properly maintain the ride, partly due to Perrin Stevens' operator manual lacking information on inspection and maintenance of the seat restraint system, the HSE said.

The investigation also found that on the day of the incident, Hackett's ride operator had no attendant assisting them despite the operations manual requiring a minimum of two people to operate and monitor the ride.

The operator did not check each rider's restraint bar as they should have before starting the ride, and did not notice that Mrs Ali required assistance and stopped the ride.

DMG Technical Ltd was the appointed inspection body and had overall control of the in-service annual inspection of the ride and responsibility for issuing the declaration of the operation compliance (DOC).

David Geary, director at DMG Technical Ltd, completed the annual inspection in 2017 and did not identify any failed switches or maintenance concerns.

Geary completed initial tests and signed the ride off for use in 2013.

He also completed the required design review of the ride but failed to identify the electrical and mechanical design failings. The ride had been in use for a number of months before the design review was signed off by Geary.

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Stevens, of Windsor; Hackett of Greater Manchester; Geary, of north London; and the firm DMG Technical Ltd all admitted health and safety offences at Westminster Magistrates' Court earlier this month.

Stevens has been handed a custodial sentence of 32 weeks, suspended for 18 months. He was ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work and pay £11,444 in costs.

Hackett was given a custodial sentence of 18 weeks, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to pay £4,800 in costs.

Geary was handed a custodial sentence of 44 weeks, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to pay £24,000 in costs.

DMG Technical Ltd was fined £51,000 and ordered to pay £30,000 in costs.

HSE inspector Helen Donnelly said: "Mrs Ali was simply enjoying a day out with her children in what she expected to be a safe environment. As a result, she continues to suffer pain and significant impact to her everyday life.

"Good health and safety management often requires multiple precautions being put in place, and often by different parties.

"This incident shows that there are serious consequences when we do not fulfil our health and safety duties and become reliant on the actions of others to ensure the safety of workers and the public. Good health and safety is a collective effort and we must all take responsibility for the role we have in keeping people safe."