Emergency response to fairground accident

Ambicopter on scene
Ambicopter on scene

A RAPID and coordinated emergency services response rescued 22 precariously positioned fairground visitors after their amusement ride failed this afternoon.

The Surf Rider at Bottons amusement park, Skegness, encountered a problem which sent its three tonne carriage veering out of position, trapping its occupants as they dangled vertically above the ground.

Four fire engines, eight ambulances and two helicopter air ambulances were called at 3.15pm and soon arrived on the scene to rescue those trapped and rush the injured to hospital.

Within 39 minutes fire crews from Skegness, Spilsby and Wainfleet had safely removed all of the trapped occupants from the ride.

Deputy divisional commander Jason Lawley, speaking after the rescue said: “It was an unusual situation – there were 22 people on the ride, and a problem caused it to end up in in a semi vertical position, with all 22 people remaining in their seats.

“We arrived just after the police, secured the scene and the ride in position, while we carried out rescues in priority order of injury.

“None of them were serious in terms of being life threatening.

“It was a heavy jolt from the 3.2 tonne carriage so it will have caused some potential neck and C spine injuries and a number of people have been taken to hospital

“We had really good assistance from the fair ground maintenance staff and the ambulance crews.”

Currently there is no official explanation as to the cause of the accident and there will be an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive.

Eye witnesses earlier in the day said they saw maintenance being carried out on the ride shortly after 10am and what they believed to be a cooling fan was replaced.