Children were allegedly left “dangling” when a rollercoaster suddenly stopped working, leaving families stranded for 90 minutes.
The horror incident took place at Southport Pleasureland, a theme park in Merseyside, UK, when the ‘Rocket coaster’ ride carrying 19 people broke down nearly 20 feet in the air.
Passengers, including children, were trapped in their seats — some in mid-air — before maintenance teams from the theme park rushed to the scene to free them using a cherry picker.
It took an hour and a half to complete the rescue with shocked witnesses saying young children were dangling from the ride.
A young girl reportedly hit her head and fell unconscious but was breathing when the ambulance service and fire crew arrived to take her to a nearby hospital.
17 people were given precautionary checks by paramedic crews from three ambulances.
Michael Bowman, 57, who was visiting the park with his wife and eight-year-old son, told The Mirror he thought something was “not right” with the ride.
“We looked up and said ‘oh my god, it’s stuck all the way round’. You could see that it was on an angle and they were all leaning,” Mr Bowman told the publication.
“The parents had hold of the children because they were leaning out of the carriage on the bend.”
Pleasureland theme park issued a statement apologizing for the distress caused to passengers.
“Our immediate priority was looking after everyone’s safe removal from the ride,” the statement read.
“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.”
“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.”
The statement read that “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.”
It continued that the young girl who had lost consciousness was the team’s priority, and she immediately checked by ambulance paramedics.
“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 apologize to our passengers.”
Due to maintenance staff attending the broken down rollercoaster, other rides also had to close.