An incident involving a swinging chair ride at the Planet Fun fairground in Carrickfergus, County Antrim, has hospitalised six people.
It is understood that several chairs on the Star Flyer-style ride impacted one another and the adjacent infrastructure, causing riders to hit the ride’s signage.
Several photographs have emerged depicting signage at the ride’s base, which appears to have been brought down.
The precise circumstances of the incident are not clear, but Planet Fun later said that the incident was a result of rider misbehaviour.
The incident took place at about 5:30 pm on Saturday evening. Initial reports suggesting that the ride had collapsed have been denied by Planet Fun operators.
A Planet Fun statement on Facebook read: “The incident tonight was caused by misuse of equipment by the behaviour of several teenagers on the attraction and is to be further investigated by the Police Service of Northern Ireland.”
“The swift actions by our staff to terminate the ride prevented further injuries,” it added.
The BBC reported that at least three of the hospitalised are children. Several other injured people were examined at the scene.
The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) was quoted a saying that all injuries sustained were not thought to be life threatening.
‘Hitting boards and lights’
Eyewitness Lee Toner told the BBC that as the ride began to rotate, chairs impacted other chairs, as well as hitting the infrastructure to the ride’s base.
“As it took off, it started hitting the boards on the outside, and hitting the lights,” Mr Toner told the BBC.
“I was having to use my legs to push off the cart in front of me, the cart my partner was in was going into the back of me, going into the side boards as well.”
Another eyewitness, Alison Johnston, was quoted by the Belfast Telegraph as saying: “One of the swings snapped and caused all the swings to bash into each other throwing people into the signs and the other swings,”
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been notified and has begun an investigation.
A spokesperson for Planet Fun said: “We immediately sought assistance from the NI Ambulance Service.
“We have also reported the incident to the HSE and will co-operate fully with the agency to understand exactly what happened.
“Health and safety is central to all operations at Planet Fun and will offer whatever assistance is required to those customers affected.”
The ride, which is known as ‘Top of the World’, will remain closed for the remainder of Planet Fun’s seasonal opening, which ends on 8 August.
The fair said in the early hours of Sunday that the ride had been checked and displayed no indication of “mechanical defects”.