Children injured after derailed rollercoaster plunges 30ft to ground
TEN people, including eight children, have been injured after a rollercoaster derailed and plunged to the ground at a theme park in Scotland.
The Tsunami ride at M& D’s park in Strathclyde Country Park, Motherwell, had nine people on board, possibly including children as young as 10, when it derailed at around 3.30pm yesterday.
Police said the gondolas had fallen “less than 20 feet” and appeared to have derailed as they came round a bend.
Members of the public ran to the scene to try to rescue people from underneath the upturned carriages. Photographs showed a young girl being lifted from the wreckage by her legs.
Those who witnessed the accident spoke of their shock afterwards on Twitter. Demi Campbell, 20, added several photographs of the incident and wrote: “In shock at what I’ve just witnessed in M& Ds.”
James Millerick, from Glasgow, who was at the park with his girlfriend when the incident occurred, said he was “absolutely horrified” when he heard “shrieks” from customers while queuing for another rollercoaster.
He said he thought it did not fall from the highest point. He told Sky News the carriage went through a gated fence at the side of the ride and landed upside down on a concrete path at the side.
He added: “There were maybe seven or eight individuals, mostly of younger age between maybe 10 and 15 years old that were trapped inside the rollercoaster lying on the ground. The harnesses were still on as well so there was absolutely no movement.”
A spokesman for M&D’s said the theme park was closed until further notice due to a “serious incident”.
Ch Insp David Bruce said five gondolas, which hang below the track, were believed to have come off the rails as they went round a corner.
He added: “It became clear that a series of five gondolas connected on a train on the Tsunami ride have detached from the rails, struck the superstructure and then struck the ground.
“As a result of this accident 10 people have been injured, two adults and eight children,” he said.
The Scottish Ambulance Service said six ambulances, a special operations team and emergency doctors were sent to the park.
Caitlin Barnes, 13, said she had been on the ride twice and was standing near it when it crashed.
She said: “I heard first of all a loud bang. At first I thought it was part of the ride because it had been a very loud ride the whole day.
“But when I turned around to look at it I saw the carriage just hurtling to the ground and then it crashed on top of another ride. I could see that there was lots of people trapped – probably up to 10 – and I saw a girl upside down, stuck.”
Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, and Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Tory leader, both expressed their shock and concern for the injured.
Members of the public rushed to try to free people trapped in the carriages of the derailed rollercoaster at M&D’s theme park