August 1, 2017

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Theme parks

UK theme park rides taken out of use after death in USA

The HSE has issued the following statement, after a teenager was killed last week when he was thrown from a KMG Afterburner ride at the Ohio state fair in the US:

“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 last 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.

Action as necessary

“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 which are subject to the Enforcement Prohibition notice are in the following locations:

  • Pleasure Wood Hills – East Anglia
  • Ryan Crow Amusements – North East
  • Coney Beach Fair – South Wales
  • Joseph Manning – based in Hertfordshire
  • Brean Theme Park – Somerset

Background

An 18-year-old man died and three others were critically injured after being flung from the ride at the Ohio State Fair last Wednesday.

The ride, known as the KMG Afterburner, swings at high speed from side-to-side while also spinning passengers.

Unverified footage from Wednesday’s accident in Colombus shows one passenger carriage breaking loose near the bottom of its pendulum swing, tossing passengers into the air as it rose again.

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