washing machine
The five-year-old was taken to hospital as a precaution after climbing inside the machine. ABC

A five-year-old girl was airlifted to hospital after getting stuck in a washing machine at a laundrette in California.

The child climbed into the machine, which automatically turned on and began spinning and filling with water, according to reports.

The owner managed to shut down the machine at the dry cleaners in Pasedena and the girl was taken to hospital with minor injuries.

She had got inside while a woman she was with was looking at another machine.

Speaking to ABC news, the owner, who had to flip the breaker switch, said he had never experienced an incident like that before.

"I have never heard of it, never seen it and I don't want to see it again."

Officers are treating the incident as non-suspicious.

"Unfortunately she spun around in that washing machine for several minutes and apparently it was on high speed. She was tumbling pretty fast in there," Vance Mitchell from Pasadena Police told Fox News.

"One person walked by and said they saw something flopping around in there they thought it was just a dress or something because it was moving pretty fast."