On October 31, a young woman told on Facebook about her bad experience in the “La Turbine” thrill ride, one of the 2022 novelties of the Saint-Romain Fair in Rouen. According to her, her safety harness would have opened without triggering the emergency stop of the attraction. She has since filed a complaint. After a first denial, the owner of the carousel today appealed to a bailiff to prove his good faith.
Not a sound in the aisles of the Foire Saint-Romain. The blinds of the ticket offices are closed, and the railings of the carousels lowered. It’s 9 a.m. and the second largest funfair in France is still asleep this Wednesday morning. But a shrill light seems to want to gently wake her from her sleep. At the heart of the fair, an attraction has already been started. Overlooking the fair from a height of 70 meters, “La Turbine” is the great novelty of this 2022 edition: thrills guaranteed.
But now, it is to its owner that it makes run cold sweats. After an accusation of dangerousness, Franck Pfausser must prove that his carousel does not suffer from any security breach.
This Wednesday morning, he therefore appointed a bailiff for a control operation. An intervention which we will not be able to attend because the auxiliary of Justice does not wish that it be followed by journalists.
But the owner still intends to prove his good faith. At our microphone, he details the operation of the attraction and all the measures taken to guarantee, according to him, the safety of customers. “When the carousel is closed, here you have two green lights that are on, he explains, pointing to the control panel near the nacelle. The automaton detects that the carousel is closed, you can press start and only then the carousel leaves. If there was, during the ride, a harness that opens, the automaton detects and automatically the merry-go-round stops. And if the harness were to come loose, you still have a seatbelt holding the harness.”
Convinced of the infallibility of his machine, Franck Pfausser adds that no other complaint has been filed against “La Turbine”. Heard by the Police this Wednesday afternoon, he will provide the Justice with the conclusions of the bailiff, in addition to the documents relating to the technical control carried out, at the beginning of 2022, by one of the organizations approved by the State, according to the provisions of the law of February 18, 2008. The showman also says he was wronged by the accusations about the security of his attraction. He has since observed a significant drop in attendance on his attraction and therefore does not rule out filing a handrail for defamation against the young woman.
In her apartment in the Rouen conurbation, Justine (the first name has been changed) is still upset by what happened to her on October 31. The 21-year-old is a regular at fairgrounds and this type of attraction. But that evening, when she tested “La Turbine” for the first time with her brother, she had the fear of her life.
“At the start, the person in charge of the carousel did not press on the harnesses to check if they were well attached, she says. Then I told my brother ‘my harness is moving’. We called the person in charge , but he didn’t come. The ride started while my harness was moving. Once at the top, the harness opened up to the waist and with the speed, I was sliding. I had to hold on to the my brother’s harness. I was really scared!”
A fear that turned into anger when he got off the carousel. The crying young woman tried to explain the incident to the attraction’s staff, but said she was not listened to. So she wanted to tell her story. in a Facebook post.
Since then, she has also chosen to file a complaint for endangering others, “so that things get moving, that there is at least some control, so that there are no injuries…” The one who, for years, has been scouring amusement parks in search of thrills, seems to have experienced those too many: “for the moment I no longer want to go back to rides”.
For his part, Kader Chekhemani, deputy mayor of Rouen in charge of the Saint-Romain Fair, says he takes the subject very seriously. “We are going to get in touch with the showman and re-order checks, but it seems that the showman has brought in one more expert to consolidate his defense. Today we have all the compliance elements that allow us to open this type of of merry-go-round.”
In France, before the installation of a fairground, it is up to the municipal services to check that each attraction has carried out the security checks in good and due form. If this is not the case, the Town Hall must prohibit the exploitation of the material. In the event of an accident, the State can thus recognize the responsibility of the mayor if the latter has disregarded his obligations in terms of safety, according to the Ministry of Relations with Local Authorities.
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Saint-Romain fair in Rouen: the safety of the “La Turbine” merry-go-round is the subject of a police investigation
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