Riders rescued after Hayling Island roller coaster fault

DRAMA The Klondike roller coaster at Funland in Hayling Island, which got stuck yesterday.    Picture: Bethan Thomas
DRAMA The Klondike roller coaster at Funland in Hayling Island, which got stuck yesterday. Picture: Bethan Thomas

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THRILLSEEKERS got more than they bargained for after being forced to climb down to escape from a broken roller coaster.

Eight people were trapped when one of the main attractions at Hayling Island’s Funland amusement park and funfair stopped suddenly in mid air.

They were alarmed when the park’s Klondike Looping Roller Coaster – which flips riders completely upside down – came to a halt halfway up its first ramp.

At around 2pm yesterday Funland staff climbed up the track and tried to get the ride moving, but couldn’t fix the problem.

They then assisted riders in making their way down to the ground by walking down the roller coaster’s track.

Bethan Thomas, 37, from Denmead, was enjoying a day at the beach with friends when she became caught up in the drama.

‘It is not something you expect to happen,’ she said. ‘These young lads came up to try and get the ride working, but quickly realised they weren’t going to be able to.

‘So one by one we were helped down the ramp after being stuck up there for about 10 minutes.

‘There were some older children trapped with the adults, and one started shouting to his dad down below, but everyone mostly stayed calm.

‘I’m just glad it broke down while we were the right way up, because as it was there was no harm done really.’

Marshall Hill, one of the co-owners of Funland, insisted that his staff started escorting people off the ride within one minute of it breaking down.

He told The News the longest a person would have been stuck on the roller coaster was four minutes.

He said: ‘It stopped for a technical reason. There was oil on one of the sensors and when one of the carts went past it thought “that should not be there” and stopped it going any further.

‘It had gone about 12ft but it was on the walkway. At no point were they dangling anywhere.

‘There is a well rehearsed safety procedure that we go through and everyone was walked out individually. There were about eight people on there. This was not a big issue to us.

‘It is working fine.’

The Health and Safety Executive has confirmed it has no plans to investigate the roller coaster or Funland.