Six people – including several children – have been rushed to hospital after a fairground ride “collapsed” in Northern Ireland.https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.472.0_en.html#goog_1435949334
The horror incident took place at Carrickfergus Harbour on the north shore of Belfast Lough at around 6pm on Saturday.
It is understood that a ride at Planet Fun – a theme park running until mid-August – malfunctioned.
The attraction is said to have swung beyond its perimeter and struck a number of signs belonging to the structure, the Belfast Telegraph reports.
Two children were taken to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children and one child was taken to Antrim Area Hospital, the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) said.
It is understood their injuries are not life-threatening.
A number of other children suffered injuries to their legs, but did not require hospital treatment.
Four emergency crews, a rapid response vehicle and an ambulance attended the scene.
Witnesses told The Sun how they are now “traumatised” after young children were pulled from the ride covered in blood while pieces of metal were launched into the air.
One stunned onlooker said: “People were hitting off all of the metal stands around it and then people started getting swung all around each other.
“The swings were all held by lines and they all snapped so everybody was just screaming. It was horrific.
“It was the worst experience I’ve ever seen, witnessed, experienced in my entire life.”
DUP councillor John McDermott, who was present at the scene, said the chair swings had detached from the ride, as he estimated around “20 to 21” people were injured.
He described how the ride had “crashed onto the roof of the entrance hut where people go in at the park”.
Continuing on, he added: “If it had of happened when the kids were at the top then my God.
“Everyone is stunned. There’s people walking about here in total shock.”
The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service told Belfast Live: “NIAS received a 999 call at 17:53 reporting that a number of people had sustained injuries following the collapse of a ride at the scene.
“Initial reports of numbers appear to have been inaccurate.
“NIAS despatched 4 Emergency crews, a Rapid Response Paramedic and an Ambulance Officer to the scene.
“Following assessment and initial treatment at the scene, 2 patients have been taken to RBHSC, 2 to RVH, 1 adult to Antrim Area Hospital and 1 child to Antrim Area Hospital – none with life threatening injuries.
“A number of patients were discharged at the scene It is not anticipated that any others will require hospital attendance.”
Robin Swann, Northern Ireland’s health minister, said: “Our blue light services have responded to an incident tonight at a funfair in Carrick, it was reported that a ride at the fair collapsed and there were several casualties.
“A number of people, inc. children were taken to hospital and thankfully none have life threatening injuries.
“My thoughts are with all who have been injured and affected by this incident.
“I wish everyone a speedy recovery and I want to sincerely thank the ambulance, paramedics and fire crews that responded so rapidly to what could have been something more tragic.”
A spokesperson for Planet Fun, which has a council licence to operate the fun fair at, said: “Shortly after 18:00 this evening, the emergency procedures on our Star Flyer ride were enacted following a incident.https:
“At no stage did the ride collapse.
“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.”
Planet Fun will make no further comment until the HSE have completed its investigation, it said.