Police name man killed at Rainbow's End

By Martin Johnston

The 21-year-old man who died at Rainbow's End theme park in South Auckland this morning while carrying out maintenance work on a ferris wheel has been named.

He was Michael Ross Stuart of Papakura.

Senior Sergeant Spencer Matthews of the Counties Manukau police said Mr Stuart's family had been to the scene of the accident this morning.

"The family have attended the scene and had the chance to say goodbye to Michael," Mr Matthews said.

He added that the family was understandably very upset but was being comforted by victim support and Rainbow's End staff.

The ferris wheel was not running at the time of this morning's accident, which occurred before the theme park's usual opening time of 10am.

Police were called shortly before 10am and the theme park didn't open.

Mr Matthews said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of the man, who had worked at Rainbow's End since 2005.

The ferris wheel is about 8m tall and has enclosed carriage seats.

It is not known how the accident occurred but it is believed Mr Stuart somehow became trapped between one of the carriages and the frame of the ride.

His body was removed by firefighters, who had to cut through parts of the ferris wheel.

Occupational Safety and Health Service manager Craig White said it was too early to say what caused the accident but a full scene examination will be undertaken tomorrow.

Members of the public arriving at the theme park are being turned away, with a sign stating the venue is closed due to unforeseen circumstances.

Rainbow's End management have not yet released a statement but are expected to do so later today.

A post mortem on Mr Stuart's body will be carried out tomorrow morning.

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