Roller­coaster crash: Own­ers fac­ing charges

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - News - By Paul Drury

THE own­ers of Scot­land’s largest theme park are fac­ing pros­e­cu­tion over a roller­coaster crash that left nine peo­ple in­jured.

Emer­gency ser­vices rushed to M&D’s in Mother­well in June 2016 af­ter cars on the Tsunami ride flew off the rails and crashed into the ground.

The Scot­tish Mail on Sun­day can re­veal that af­ter a 15-month in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the Health and Safety Ex­ec­u­tive (HSE) has sent a re­port to the Crown Of­fice.

Sources close to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion have con­firmed that the HSE re­port rec­om­mends the park own­ers face crim­i­nal charges.

The crash hap­pened when five gon­do­las on the Tsunami de­tached from the rails at a bend then plunged 20ft to the ground and on to a chil­dren’s ride.

There were nine peo­ple on board the Tsunami and ten taken to hos­pi­tal, in­clud­ing two boys de­scribed as be­ing in a ‘se­ri­ous’ con­di­tion.

A 12-year-old had chest, ab­dom­i­nal and leg in­juries while an 11-year-old suf­fered se­ri­ous hand and arm in­juries.

Four other boys, a 14-year-old girl and a 19-year-old man were also de­tained in hos­pi­tal.

Among the in­jured was stu­dent Katie McAr­dle, then 19, who told how she thought she was ‘go­ing to die’ af­ter her wrist was bro­ken by the im­pact and she was left dan­gling up­side down. Her boyfriend Wil­liam Mur­ray, then also 19, suf­fered leg in­juries.

She later said: ‘I have never been so scared. We are both still in shock. We have a few in­juries but are lucky to be alive.’

Liam Boyle, 11, suf­fered se­ri­ous in­juries and his grand­fa­ther Thomas Camp­bell re­vealed that he had needed surgery to save his arm and hand.

At the time, De­tec­tive In­spec­tor John Mal­colm, of Po­lice Scot­land, con­firmed they had launched a joint in­ves­ti­ga­tion with the Health and Safety Ex­ec­u­tive and said their ‘pri­or­ity is to find out the cause of the ac­ci­dent’.

The theme park was shut for in­ves­ti­ga­tions but a par­tial re­open­ing was sanc­tioned just four days af­ter the ac­ci­dent and co­in­cided with re­moval of the five gon­dola train which had de­railed.

The re­mains of the ve­hi­cles were trans­ported to the Health and Safety Ex­ec­u­tive’s ‘worldlead­ing’ lab­o­ra­tory at Bux­ton, Der­byshire, for ex­am­i­na­tion.

In Fe­bru­ary of this year, the Tsunami ride was fi­nally dis­man­tled and the own­ers said it would not be re­turn­ing to the park.

The prospect of them fac­ing crim­i­nal charges has now been con­firmed.

The HSE sub­mits a re­port to the Crown Of­fice and it is then for the Scot­tish pros­e­cut­ing au­thor­ity to de­cide whether to bring a case.

An HSE spokesper­son said: ‘We can­not com­ment fur­ther.’

The Crown Of­fice con­firmed they had a re­ceived a re­port on the in­ci­dent.

A spokesman added: ‘The in­ves­ti­ga­tion, un­der the di­rec­tion of the Crown’s Health and Safety Di­vi­sion, is on­go­ing.’

A spokesman for M&D’s said: ‘We can­not com­ment on any on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions.’

TER­ROR: Chil­dren are pulled from the wreck­age af­ter Tsunami crashed

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