Terrifying moment left children stranded in mid air rollercoaster failure

28th August 2022

Screaming children left in terror on a broken down rollercoaster were rescued by medics after a horrific ride malfunction at Southport Pleasureland this weekend.

Eyewitnesses say they watched in horror as parents were forced to desperately cling onto their children while they were suspended 20ft in the air on a broken rollercoaster at the Southport fairground.

It’s understood they were trapped high in the air for at least an hour and a half.

Following a panicked rescue attempt, one young girl was said to have been “carried off the ride unconscious” while her desperate father clambered off the ride to get to her.

Michael Bowman, 57, who had travelled with his wife Christine, 35, and eight-year-old son from Stoke-on-Trent told national tabloids that his family left the park with safety concerns, after two more rides suffered technical issues.

He said: “We walked towards The Rocket and I thought something’s not right there. All of a sudden a cherry picker came past us and all staff were guiding people out the way.

“We looked up and said ‘Oh my God, it’s stuck all the way round’. You could see that it was on an angle and they were all leaning.”

Pleasureland claimed that all other rides were working normally but had to be stopped and reset as a result of the fault with The Rocket coaster.

A spokesperson for Pleasureland said: “We are sorry for the distress caused to passengers on one of our coasters yesterday. Our immediate priority was looking after everyone’s safe removal from the ride.

“Senior management and maintenance team members are today continuing a thorough investigation into carriages stopping on the park’s Rocket Coaster yesterday morning.

“All routine maintenance checks had been carried out, as they are on all rides each morning, before the ride went into commission.

“The ride did exactly what its safety settings are programmed to do and stopped on detecting a fault.

“No one was at any risk of falling from the ride, the carriages were secure on the track and the park’s operations director immediately made his way up the gantry to speak to riders and explain that they would be brought off the ride safely, as part of the park’s instant response safety process.

“At the same time, the maintenance crew was further immobilising carriages to ensure passengers’ safe exit from the ride via one of the park’s cherry pickers.

“A young girl who had lost consciousness was the team’s priority, and immediately checked by ambulance paramedics.

“That first-response healthcare team was available to other passengers.”