Boy falls from Ferris wheel

 The Star Online, 30 December 2013


news 30122013 ts
Still in operation: The Ferris wheel at the Penang Pesta in Sungai Nibong, George Town.

GEORGE TOWN: A six-year-old boy slipped into a coma after falling off a Ferris wheel at the Penang Pesta fairground in Sungai Nibong here.

Mohamad Khairul Naimme Abu Kassim was on the ride alone without his parents’ supervision.

The boy was rushed to Penang Hospital with internal injuries and warded at the intensive care unit for observation, said George Town deputy OCPD Supt Ismail Toh Idris.

The boy’s mother, Saadiah Samsudin, 40, said the doctors had to remove the left kidney as it was damaged due to the impact of the fall.

“He is still in a coma and he also has other internal injuries.

“All I want now is for him to recover,” she said through tears.

She added that she was not at the scene when the incident happened.

“He followed his father to work as usual and I never expected such a thing to happen,” she said.

The child’s father, a shopkeeper at the fair, lodged a police report a few hours after the incident.

The operator of the ferris wheel, who wanted to be known only as Kher, 50, claimed that the boy had climbed in via the railing to get on the ride.

“He didn’t purchase a ticket and my workers didn’t notice him.

“If he had gone through the counter, we would have stopped him,” he said.

Kher said his workers heard a loud “thud” and were shocked when they saw the boy lying on the ground in the 12.50am incident yesterday.

“Up until now, no one knows exactly how the boy managed to get on the ride and how he fell,” he added.

Supt Ismail said the police will rope in the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) to help in the investigation.

The police have recorded statements from three caretakers of the ride.

“There were 21 baskets and it was the last round,” said Supt Ismail, adding that the caretakers said only four baskets were occupied for the ride.

“The caretakers claimed they had ensured all passengers had left the baskets (at the end of the ride). They said they did not know when the boy had sneaked in for the ride,” he added.

A check last night showed that the Ferris wheel was still operational, with a long line of people waiting in line for the ride.

State Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said the state would conduct an internal investigation into the incident, including how the boy managed to hop on the ride.

He added that all the rides were checked by the state DOSH before the fair was first opened to the public.