Thursday 18 January 2018

Teenagers hospitalised after fairground ride crash

Hannah Furness

TWO teenage boys have been seriously injured after their carriage flew off from a moving fairground ride, throwing them onto the ground.

The teenagers had been riding the Mega Bounce Frog ride at Billy Bates Fairground, Leicester when their carriage flipped over, catapulting them into the air.

One was crushed by the rolling car, while the other hit the metal base of the ride.

Both required hospital treatment, with one being kept in intensive care after surgery to his broken arm, ribs and chest injuries. The other suffered a broken nose and teeth.

The ride, which was filled with children on their summer holidays, was halted as horrified fairground-goers attempted to help the injured boys.

Youngsters could be heard screaming as they realised what had happened, just moments after the ride began moving.

The carriage, which was on the end of a rotating arm, had been spinning at a low speed to gather momentum as it prepared to lift high into the air.

One bystander, Zimran Ilyas, had been filming his friends on the ride as the accident happened at 6.30pm yesterday.

Zimran, 18, from Leicester, said: "People around me were screaming and crying. I couldn't believe what I'd just seen.

"People were screaming 'stop the ride' over and over."

Jatinder Virdee was watching his niece, 11, and nephew, seven, on the ride and said the accident was a "nightmare".

Mr Virdee, 38, from Braunstone, Leics, said: "It was like something from the horror film Final Destination - totally shocking.

"The ride had gone round about three times and then the bit carrying two youngsters flew off into the barriers.

"That was when the mayhem started. Everybody was screaming. It was a nightmare.

"I pulled my niece and nephew off the rides. They were distraught, along with my two-year-old daughter and four-year-old nephew who was watching with me."

First-aiders at the fairground attended to the boys, who are both understood to be about 16-years-old and attend a school in the city.

Fairground director Kennedy Bates said he had been in close contact with one of the teenagers' families.

He said one of the boys was in intensive care, but after an operation in the early hours of yesterday was doing better. The other teenager suffered a broken tooth and nose and facial injures.

Mr Bates said: "We are devastated - I spoke to my dad and he says that in 40 years of being in Leicester nothing like this has happened.

"Our biggest concern is obviously with the lads and their families and we wish them the best recovery.

"We are not sure at the moment what happened.

"We have nothing to hide. We put our kids on our rides and ride them ourselves, so we are still in shock."

He said Billy Bates had subcontracted the ride from another company and Abbey Park fair was the first time it had been used.

He said all the rides were checked regularly.

A police spokeswoman said: "The fairground was closed for the night and the area cordoned off while the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated."

The HSE said it was investigating and could not comment further.

The ride was dismantled by staff yesterday afternoon.

The fair opened on July 22, and was due to stay until August 28. It has been closed since the accident but may reopen today.

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