Rollercoaster crash: Owners facing charges
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