Woman dies after being flung from funfair ride in France

SAINT-ÉTIENNE, FRANCE (AFP) – A woman died and another was seriously hurt when they were flung from a chair swing ride at an annual funfair in central France, emergency services said yesterday.

The pair had been more than 10 metres up in the air, in one of several “flying” pods attached to large arms spinning around a massive central mast, when their capsule was tossed to the ground on Monday night.

When rescuers arrived at the scene in the central town of Firminy, a 24-year-old woman was already dead. The other woman in the pod, 20, was taken into emergency hospital care, the fire brigade told AFP.

Police said four people, owners and operators of two rides – the swing carousel and a neighbouring attraction at the Firminy fair – were taken into custody.

Experts visited the scene yesterday to examine the rides, both under lockdown, to determine what had caused the tragedy, which occurred in very strong winds.

The funfair is one of France’s biggest, held for two weeks in Firminy every October with 250 rides and attractions and some 100,000 visitors. Funfair mishaps are not unknown in France.