Australian tourist breaks back on Sentosa zipline ride
Sunday, Sep 18, 2011
An Australian man broke several vertebrae in his back after a malfunction at Sentosa's MegaZip flying fox adventure ride last Sunday.
Michael Joseph McCarthy, 38, took his turn down the ride at about 1.45pm, after his son, 14, and daughter, 17, made it down the ride safely.
However, he noticed that something was amiss when he was approaching the platform at a much greater speed than his wife, who also took her turn at the same time.
The Sunday Times reported that due to an unknown malfunction, Mr McCarthy, who weighs 100kg, did not slow down despite reaching the end of the flying fox zipline. He was travelling at 50kmh.
He then fell, and broke several vertebrae in his back due to the force of the impact.
The tattooist from Adelaide told The Sunday Times: 'I started going faster and my wife (who was on the next zipline) was wondering why she was not. She was holding up her hands asking, where are you going?'
Mr McCarthy said that after he fell, he waited 30 minutes before help came as there was no on-site medic to assist him. He was finally taken to the Singapore General Hospital at 3pm last Sunday.
He is now in stable condition after being in the intensive care unit (ICU) for five days. He can now move his legs, while his back has 35 stitches. However, he is left wondering how the accident could have happened.
He is well within the limits of the safety parameters of the ride, where the minimum height is 0.7m and the maximum weight is 140kg.
The ride has been suspended since the incident, which is the first accident at the MegaZip park, which opened two years ago.
The case has been reported to the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), the regulating body for amusement rides. Investigations are now ongoing.
Mr Alexander Blyth, managing director of Flying Dragon Adventures, which runs the ride, told the paper: 'Nothing failed and nothing snapped. Please do not speculate. It is up to the BCA to comment.'