Grim new details emerge about boy’s 7m plunge from Sunshine Coast zipline course


Grim new details emerge about boy’s 7m plunge from Sunshine Coast zipline course as a horrified witness speaks out

  • Boy was on the zipline at TreeTop Challenge in Woombye, on Sunshine Coast 
  • He fell seven metres to the ground and suffered back and abdomen injuries
  • He was rushed to hospital for spinal injury testing – but has since been released 
  • Authorities launched an investigation into the incident and seized equipment
  • Witnesses say the reason the boy fell was because the zipline cable snapped 

A young boy who plummeted seven metres from a zipline at a popular adventure park fell to the ground because the cable snapped, a witness says. 

The nine-year-old was visiting TreeTop Challenge in Woombye on Queensland‘s Sunshine Coast on Sunday when he fell around 3.25pm on Sunday, suffering back and abdomen injuries.

He was rushed to Sunshine Coast University Hospital to undergo testing for potential spinal injuries, but was miraculously discharged on Monday. 

Authorities have launched an investigation into the incident, with Workplace Health and Safety Queensland on Monday seizing parts of the zipline and the boy’s harness.

The boy (not pictured) had been at the TreeTop Challenge in Woombye, on Queensland 's Sunshine Coast, at around 3.25pm on Sunday when the accident occurred (pictured is person at the TreeTop Challenge park)

The boy (not pictured) had been at the TreeTop Challenge in Woombye, on Queensland ‘s Sunshine Coast, at around 3.25pm on Sunday when the accident occurred (pictured is person at the TreeTop Challenge park)

The boy (not pictured) had been at the TreeTop Challenge in Woombye, on Queensland 's Sunshine Coast, at around 3.25pm on Sunday when the accident occurred. Pictured: Two people visit TreeTop Challenges in May

The boy (not pictured) had been at the TreeTop Challenge in Woombye, on Queensland ‘s Sunshine Coast, at around 3.25pm on Sunday when the accident occurred. Pictured: Two people visit TreeTop Challenges in May

Now, a witness has told 7News the boy fell because the zipline broke, leaving other children who say the incident unfold distressed. 

The witness said the other children still had to finish the course in order to leave the park.

However, the TreeTop Challenge operators have rejected the claim, telling the publication the activity was stopped immediately.

They said they have apologised to the boy and his family and an internal review has been launched. 

Daily Mail Australia has contacted TreeTop Challenge for comment. 

A Workplace Health and Safety Queensland spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia on Monday the department had ‘commenced a comprehensive investigation into the incident’.

‘Inspectors, investigators and experts from our Engineering Unit [are] on-site today,’ they said.

‘Relevant equipment has been seized, including part of the zip line and harness. At this stage, zipline activity has not resumed.

‘As an investigation has commenced, WHSQ will not be making any further comment.’

Under national laws, inspectors have the power to seize items during investigations due to several circumstances, including to prevent the loss of the evidence or use of the thing where the inspector believes the object is evidence of an offence.

Emergency services are seen at the park after the accident on Sunday afternoon

Emergency services are seen at the park after the accident on Sunday afternoon

Workplace Health and Safety investigators have seized some equipment. Pictured: TreeTop Challenges in Woombye

Workplace Health and Safety investigators have seized some equipment. Pictured: TreeTop Challenges in Woombye 

Other reasons for objects to be removed include for the item to be analysed, tested or examined, if the inspector believes the thing, workplace or part of the workplace is defective, hazardous or likely to cause an injury, or if seizing the thing is consistent with the purpose of entry.

Meanwhile, many shocked locals are struggling to come to terms with how the accident unfolded, saying the business is very safety conscious.

A mother who visited with her husband, son, 14, and daughter, last Wednesday said the staff were ‘great’ at checking her family’s equipment.

‘They would check after the group returned off a challenge then checked it all again before starting a challenge,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.

‘They [my husband and kids] weren’t allowed to go on difficult challenges until they had successfully completed the beginner ones.

‘I just don’t understand how he could have fallen off.’

Treetop Challenge offers 12 ziplines ranging from three to 35 metres off the ground

Treetop Challenge offers 12 ziplines ranging from three to 35 metres off the ground

Treetop Challenge offers 12 ziplines ranging from three to 35 metres off the ground. 

The park opened in 2019, offering an adult ziplining adventure – one for those aged eight and over – before last year opening its junior course, for children between three to 9 years.

The two challenges have several courses, which are each comprised of varying difficulty levels. 

It’s website describes it as the ‘highest, largest and most thrilling high ropes adventure park’ in the country. 

‘Each session lasts for 2hrs which includes a 30 minute induction of equipment fitting and training, your child can then conduct as many courses as they would like!’ the website reads.

‘You don’t need any experience as our team are there to ensure your child has an amazing time.’

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