Somerset theme park ride closed after fatality in United States

PUBLISHED: 10:46 03 August 2017 | UPDATED: 10:46 03 August 2017

Brakes in Highbridge will close.

Brakes in Highbridge will close.

Archant

A Somerset theme park has been forced to temporarily close one of its rides after a teenager died on a similar ride in the United States.

An 18-year-old died, and three other people were critically injured after they were flung from the KMG Afterburner at the Ohio State Fair last week.

The ride swings at high speed from side-to-side and also spins the people on it at the same time.

As a result of the tragedy, The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) ordered the re-inspection and temporary closure of six similar rides across the UK.

This includes Brean Theme Park.

The park’s ride is called Wipe Out, but there are no other rides which have been affected and the park is open as usual.

A spokesman for the HSE said: “HSE is aware of the tragic accident involving the KMG Afterburner (themed as Fire Ball) machine in Ohio on 26 July.

“There are six machines of this version operating in UK which were all thoroughly inspected within the past 12 months in line with agreed procedures. There is no verified information regarding the immediate cause of the US accident.

“Following the incident, HSE initiated a re-inspection of these machines. As a result, on Friday 28 July an Enforcement Notice was served on five of the machines, which are now to be taken out of use until the notices have been complied with.

“The sixth, at Lightwater Valley in North Yorkshire, was immediately take out of use following the incident in Ohio. This was a decision taken independently by the operator. Lightwater Valley has agreed to keep this machine out of use until the other five notices have been complied with.

“HSE will ensure operators are kept abreast of information as it arrives and will take such action as is necessary to ensure the rides are inspected and tested as necessary to ensure safety.”

The rides affected are:

– Pleasure Wood Hills – East Anglia

– Ryan Crow Amusements – North East

– Coney Beach Fair – South Wales

– Joseph Manning – Hertfordshire

Brean Theme Park – Somerset

The Mercury has contacted Brean Theme Park for comment, but has not yet received a response.

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