Investigation launched into fairground ride collapse

Fairground ride at St Neots cordoned off awaiting inspection from The Health and Safety Executive (J

Fairground ride at St Neots cordoned off awaiting inspection from The Health and Safety Executive (June 3) - Credit: Archant

A FAIRGROUND ride is under investigation for the second time in 16 months after it crashed to the ground while carrying 25 people.

The X-Scream ride, owned by James Fendick of Royston, is currently subject of a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inquiry after a structural fault saw the ride topple over at a fair at Riverside Park, St Neots, on May 31.

Witnesses described how the ride, which tilts at a 45 degree angle, started to rock and shake, sending it off balance and leaving the circular wheel spinning out of control before it collapsed and dropped down.

One man was taken to hospital with a damaged tendon and whiplash and another girl is believed to have fractured her leg. Ten others were treated by the ambulance service at the scene.

The HSE has revealed that it also carried out an investigation on Mr Fendick’s ride in February 2012 after a set of lights broke from a fixing and fell off, causing people on the ride in Ipswich to have to duck to avoid being hit by debris.

As this incident was not a structural fault, but involved part of the ride’s “theme”, the HSE concluded there were no grounds for enforcement action.

A spokesman said: “HSE investigated an earlier incident in Ipswich, when a piece of the ride’s theming fell off. Fortunately, nobody was injured in that incident.

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“The HSE investigation concluded that as no structural components were involved, there were no grounds for enforcement action.

“At present the two incidents appear to be wholly unconnected but our investigation continues.”

A prohibition notice has been administered by the HSE inspector in charge of the St Neots investigation which prevents the ride from being used in its current condition.

The company that run the fairground, F C Muggeridge & Son, said they were “devastated” by the accident and stressed that nothing had happened like it in the 30 years they had been visiting St Neots.

Mr Fendick was contacted by the Crow but declined to comment.

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