18 Oct 2008

Inquiry begins after children hurt on sideshow ride

2:38 pm on 18 October 2008

The Department of Labour is investigating after a sideshow ride at the Gisborne A & P show malfunctioned, leaving five children in hospital.

Five children aged between 7 and 12 were treated at Gisborne Hospital for minor injuries on Friday and all have since been discharged.

One girl was completely ejected from her seat during the ride and suffered a bruised elbow and a cut lip.

Two other children who suffered minor neck and back injuries were treated at the scene.

Labour Department investigators have examined the Explorer ride, advertised as New Zealand's fastest. It will not re-open until the inquiry is complete.

Hamilton-based company Mahons Amusements, which operates amusement rides and attractions, says it is extremely sorry about the incident.

John Mahons says he expressed his regret and concern to parents of the children who were present when the incident occurred.

In 2004, Mr Mahons' brother Bill was killed when he was hit by an out of control carriage on another ride during a routine maintenance check.

The show's manager, Derek Allan, says he has spoken to all but one of the parents. None of them blame Mahons Amusements, or the A &P Association.