Skegness flat ride accident traps 22, injuring some

A flat ride accident at Bottons Pleasure Beach in Skegness left 22 people stranded, some of whom were injured.

The incident involved Surf Rider, a magic carpet-style ride, whose carriage is designed to maintain a horizontal position while its connecting arm rotates 360 degrees.

It failed to maintain its horizontal position and hit the ground, trapping those on board in an almost vertical position.

One woman is reported to be seriously hurt, with the BBC reporting that she sustained “life threatening” injuries.

Bruising, neck and back injuries have also been reported among the rest of those on board, but earlier accounts of the ride collapsing in dramatic fashion proved to be exaggerated.

Several witnesses have reported that the ride was being worked on by staff in recent days, including this morning prior to the incident.

Emergency response

Four fire crews attended the scene, conducting an evacuation of the riders in less than 40 minutes using ropes.

Paramedic commander Jason Lawley was quoted in the Skegness Standard newspaper as saying: “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.”

Under standard procedures, the government body the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will seize control of the ride, until their safety investigation has been completed.

‘Smashed into the decking’

The Skegness Standard has taken eyewitness accounts from some of those at the scene.

Melvyn Wilson of Nottingham said: “I saw the whole thing come down. You should could hear the ride going clink, clink, clink and then bang!

“You could see the carriage, it just smashed into the decking. It was such a bang and it was like a blooming plane crash.”

David Caddick was quoted as saying: “I was sat at the hotdog stand and I watched it come down.

“It took about four seconds for it to fall and it made a clunking sound before it fell down to the ground and made this huge bang.

“It sounded like the crank shaft had gone on the motor and the teeth were not gripping.

ARM Engineering-built Surf Rider is the third ride inside a week to be involved in serious incidents at British amusement parks.