A teenage girl was flung around like a “rag doll” before plunging 15ft from a fairground ride that went dramatically wrong.
Beth Thorpe, 18, suffered head and neck injuries during the traumatic ordeal, which occurred on the Rocker ride on Marine Parade in Worthing, Sussex on Thursday night.
Shocked witnesses have spoken about the scene which was filmed by horrified onlookers and left the A level student with no memory of the incident.
A friend who was also on the ride, Faith Paine, 18, told The Argus newspaper: “It was without a doubt the most horrific thing I have ever seen in my life".
"Seconds after the ride started she was flung about like a rag doll and started foaming at the mouth, immediately I knew something was wrong,” she recalled.
"She came straight out of the seat as the “Rocker” ride went up and then plummeted downwards and landed on her head and back, hitting her ankle on the way. I was trying to scream stop and help, but it was too late”.
Katie Rose Hockley, also on the ride, added: “I was on the ride when it happened I heard a big bang and I looked over and a woman was on the floor, she had dropped from the highest point and banged her head and ankle on the metal.
“We all got taken off the ride immediately. Never going on a fair ride again".
Her father, Robert Thorpe, said: “We do not know exactly what happened, we weren't there, we just got a phone call and all we know is that she was flung out of the ride and she blacked out.
It was traumatic for her and it's traumatic for us, we are just happy she is recovering, I could have lost my child".
Ms Thorpe is currently recovering at her home in Richmond Court in Worthing, after being discharged from the Royal Sussex County Hospital.
A spokesman for Worthing borough council confirmed that the ride had been closed while an investigation is launched.
"The fairground ride operators and Worthing Borough Council will fully co-operate with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and relevant authorities into the investigation that will take place,” they said.
"We wish her a full and speedy recovery. We are grateful to the emergency services who attended the scene promptly".