A child was rushed to hospital after 19 people were rescued from a broken-down roller coaster at Southport Pleasureland today,
Emergency services were called to the theme park on Marine Drive after a rollercoaster broke down mid-ride. Merseyside Fire and Rescue attended the scene at around midday today.
When the arrived, fire crews from two engines and the search and rescue team found 19 people trapped on a ride. A child sustained a head injury as a result of the ride's sudden stoppage. North West Ambulance Service was also in attendance at the scene.
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A spokesperson for North West Ambulance Service told the ECHO the child, who was unconscious but breathing, was treated at the scene before being taken to Alder Hey Children's Hospital.
Staff at the amusement park used a cherry picker to safely remove all the people stuck on the ride. The work to remove everyone safely from the ride is believed to have taken around 90 minutes.
17 people were given precautionary checks by paramedic crews from three ambulances.
A spokesperson for Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service said: "A multi-agency meeting took place between North West Ambulance Service and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service and the Health and Safety Executive was informed. The ride is to be isolated and a full inspection to be carried out." Fire crews left the scene at around 2.20pm.
Southport Pleasureland was approached for a comment, and on Sunday a spokesperson said: “We are sorry for the distress caused to passengers on one of our coasters yesterday. Our immediate priority was looking after everyone’s safe removal from the ride.
"Senior management and maintenance team members are today continuing a thorough investigation into carriages stopping on the park’s Rocket Coaster yesterday morning. All routine maintenance checks had been carried out, as they are on all rides each morning, before the ride went into commission.
"The ride did exactly what its safety settings are programmed to do and stopped on detecting a fault. It was the first run of the day and the ride, which has a 22-person capacity, was loaded with 19 riders.
“No one was at any risk of falling from the ride, the carriages were secure on the track and the park’s operations director immediately made his way up the gantry to speak to riders and explain that they would be brought off the ride safely, as part of the park’s instant response safety process.
At the same time the maintenance crew was further immobilising carriages to ensure passengers’ safe exit from the ride via one of the park’s cherry pickers. An ambulance and the fire brigade were called immediately, both standard emergency-response practice.
"A young girl who had lost consciousness was the team’s priority, and checked by ambulance paramedics. That first-response healthcare team was available to other passengers.
"On seeing how the park was handling the situation and safely retrieving passengers, the fire brigade commended the team, took no action and left the scene.
“As a consequence of calling maintenance staff to attend the coaster, one or two of the other rides were off for a very short while during the day. This is because the systems require reset buttons to be pressed – something that is maintenance’s responsibility. This represented a very short disruption.
“Our priority is always safety and our team checks and maintains rides, and trains to keep emergency procedures front of mind, should they be needed, so they are delivered fast and effectively. Once again we apologise to our passengers.”
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