Adult park exercise gear in question

Marnie Cuttell (centre) with her dad Ashley and the first responders who freed her.
Marnie Cuttell (centre) with her dad Ashley and the first responders who freed her.

The father of a nine year-old Berowra girl who got her legs trapped in adult exercise device last month is calling for Ku-ring-gai to fix the equipment before it injures someone again.

Marnie Cuttell was playing on the sit-up machine in Turramurra’s Karuah Park while her dad Ashley was soccer coaching her brother’s team nearby, when bystanders heard her screams.

“The section in the middle was tapered and because of the angle of the platform her legs slid down and trapped her mid thigh on both sides – she was in a lot of pain,” said Ashley Cuttell from Berowra.

The frightened little girl was trapped for 30 minutes, her dad supporting her weight to reduce the pain, until firemen cut the middle section of the equipment with an electric saw, which mercifully took just seconds. She was left with severe bruising on her legs.

“There was no signage or fencing telling me it’s not play equipment so naturally kids play on it.

“Of course we can’t remove danger from every aspect of our lives but I honestly don’t think a risk assessment was done on this. Kids’ play equipment is sectioned off – so why isn’t adults’ exercise devices too?

“What happened to Marnie could not have happened to an adult – what if we hadn’t been there?”

Ku-ring-gai Council has said it is replacing the sit-up device as part of a program of equipment upgrades. “The Council regularly inspects, maintains and repairs equipment for use in public areas. This particular equipment was installed in 2011 and meets Australian Standards.

“The item is due to be removed and replaced in the very near future as part of the regular program of replacement and renewal. Other fitness equipment in Karuah Park is also being removed and replaced.

“In the meantime Council staff have isolated (sectioned off) the piece of equipment that was involved in the incident. We are reviewing signage to ensure the public are aware that this fitness equipment is intended for use by adults.”

Leave a Reply