A young girl has had a brush with death after a carnival ride attraction malfunctioned in Paris, leaving her dangling by her ankles 50 metres from the ground.

The girl was on a ride called Adrenaline, which is essentially a giant swing, according to news.com.au.

Everything looked fine as she and another person were winched to the top, but when the swing was released the straps holding her to her seat failed.

Onlookers gasped in horror as she flipped backwards, suspended only by her ankles.

Advertisement

She swung so low her head almost smashed into a steel platform at the bottom.

A video of the incident shows concerned bystanders attempting to grab her as she swung past, in a bid to slow her momentum.

Eventually, someone grabbed her arm and she was rescued.

The owners confirmed the serious malfunction, telling website France Bleu they were shocked by what happened and that it would be dismantled as soon as possible.

"It could have been more serious. It's a miracle the girl was not hurt," they said in a quote translated from French.

"We are here to give joy, and not to make people afraid."