Residents of a small community in South Australia’s mid-north are devastated after a six-year-old boy died in a playground slippery dip accident.
The boy was playing with friends in the township of Farrell Flat, 200 kilometres north of Adelaide, when a metal slippery dip overturned and fell on him on Saturday.
The boy, from the nearby town of Clare, suffered serious head injuries and died at the scene.
“My heart goes out to the family. It’s just terrible,” local resident Linda Baillie said.
“You think your kids are safe everywhere.”
Many residents in Farrell Flat were too shocked to speak on camera, saying they were saddened by the tragedy. They have told the ABC the playground was rarely used.
Locals say the boy and his family had travelled to Farrell Flat from Clare for a tennis game, because another court was being renovated.
“Already the community is rallying to support them,” Clare Councillor Sue Wurst said.
“There’s going to be lots of long days ahead for the family, but we’re there to support them.
“They weren’t being naughty, they weren’t being silly. They were just being kids.”
The playground is on a public reserve run by the Regional Council of Goyder.
The council has confirmed it is responsible for its maintenance.
Playground inspector Michael Kearnes believes under current national standards, the accident never should have happened.
“The slide that I’ve seen in the photo doesn’t meet current standards,” he said.
“The slide itself is roughly 25 to 30 years old and should have been taken out of service a long long time ago.”
The council says it will cooperate with the police investigation into the death.