Riders Stuck on Roller Coaster for 7 Hours

Herald Scotland: Roller-coaster fans at Scotland’s largest theme park were given a longer ride than expected when a faulty lift-chain left them trapped onboard for nearly seven hours. Police and fire crews were called to North Lanarkshire’s M&D’s fairground yesterday afternoon after the roller-coaster screeched to a halt, leaving nine adults and children stranded.

Safety systems on the Tsumani ride kicked into action just after 4pm when a lift chain on the ride broke, leaving passengers held in their seats by safety bars that would not open. Police began bringing people down from the ride just after 9pm, with the rescue taking more than two hours to complete. Bystanders said those stranded, including two primary children on a school trip, took the breakdown in good humor.

No passengers were injured and theme-park staff climbed to the top of the roller coaster and handed out bottled water.

A spokesman for M&Ds said passengers were never in any danger as the ride is designed to come safely to a halt if there is a mechanical malfunction. He added: “This is a rare occurrence but we did everything possible to try and keep the passengers comfortable while our staff and the emergency services worked to resolve the issue.”

Billed by the theme park as Scotland’s scariest roller-coaster, the Tsumani is an inverted roller-coaster 650 metres long, travelling of speeds up to 65kph. The ride performs corkscrew twists and loops upside down but fortunately those stuck 20 metres in the air at the top of the Tsumani were sitting upright.

A spokeswoman for Strathclyde Fire and Rescue confirmed a crew attended the scene but was not required.

Six people were stranded on a rollercoaster at M&Ds in 2009 for about an hour after high winds activated safety systems. The five women and a man, who were on a works funday, were stranded 40ft above the ground at the bottom of a dip on the Tornado ride.


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