Pub­lic evac­u­ated from gi­ant Thorpe Park ride

Roller­coaster halted with pas­sen­gers forced to walk down tracks in the rain from 75 feet

Staines Informer - - FRONT PAGE - Paul Harper

THRILLSEEKERS had to be eva­cau­ated from a roller­coaster car­riage at around ‘75ft in the air’ when a ride came to a halt at Thorpe Park.

Peo­ple were es­corted from Colos­sus af­ter it was re­ported that staff mon­i­tor­ing CCTV spot­ted some­one putting a leg out­side the cart around 11am on Sun­day.

Pas­sen­gers had to walk down the tracks of the Colos­sus roller­coaster to be guided to safety by res­cuers at­tached to ropes.

Thorpe Park is­sued a state­ment say­ing a mem­ber of the pub­lic had ‘ ig­nored ride re­stric­tions’ adding that such ‘well-re­hearsed’ pro­ce­dures were not un­com­mon.

Henry Moody, 14, who was vis­it­ing the park in Chert­sey with his fam­ily, said the pas­sen­gers were near the top of the 100ft ride.

He said: “Colos­sus was late to open and be­fore it opened they were do­ing some checks at the top of the ride.

“Staff were walk­ing up and down.

“Later on, at about 11am, the ride opened up while I was queu­ing for an­other ride.

“The next thing I saw, Colos­sus was stuck at the top of the lift with peo­ple stranded up there and it was in the rain as well.

“It took about an hourand-a-half un­til they were evac­u­ated.

“There were about 20 peo­ple in the car­riage.

“They were sit­ting on the ride for an hour-and-a-half in the rain.”

Henry said: “Colos­sus is roughly 100ft high and it was al­most at the top, so I would say they were 75ft off the ground.

“The staff were there help­ing peo­ple off. They seemed fairly calm.

“Even­tu­ally, they got the

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peo­ple down the stairs and every­one got off. “It was a long time.” Henry said the ride re­opened at around 2pm. Park em­ploy­ees pointed out that no-one was hurt dur­ing the in­ci­dent.

The Colos­sus ride reaches a height of 98ft and speeds of up to 45mph.

A state­ment from Thorpe Park read: “There were no safety is­sues with Colos­sus.

“A mem­ber of the pub­lic ig­nored our ride re­stric­tions and put his leg out­side of the cart while the ride was in mo­tion, which was spot­ted by staff mon­i­tor­ing the ride’s CCTV.

“If guests do not com­ply with our clearly stip­u­lated re­stric­tions and choose to ig­nore them, we have to act upon it. There­fore the ride was stopped and guests were re­moved from the roller­coaster; a pro­ce­dure which is not un­com­mon and is very well-re­hearsed.

“We apol­o­gise to all other guests in­con­ve­nienced by this per­son’s ac­tions.”

Mean­while, Der­ren Brown’s Ghost Train at­trac­tion fi­nally opened at Thorpe Park on Fri­day, two months later than planned.

It was orig­i­nally planned that the ride, de­scribed as the world’s first ever multi-sen­sory theme park ex­pe­ri­ence, was to open on May 6, but it was de­layed due to tech­ni­cal dif­fi­cul­ties.

It aims to trick and dis­ori­en­tate guests as they board what ap­pears to be a sus­pended 20ft Vic­to­rian Car­riage.

The drama un­folded on Sun­day morn­ing af­ter a safety breach when some­one dan­gled a leg out of a cart.

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