Probe launched after ride fall

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WITNESSES today described the aftermath of a boy’s 30ft fall from a thrill ride at a Lancashire theme park.

The 12-year-old, who has not yet been named, plunged from the Excalibur 2 at Camelot in Chorley at 1pm yesterday.

Today, the ride was shut and park bosses said it would remain closed until the results of an internal investigation were finalised and until the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) had given clearance.

A spokesman for the North West Ambulance Service said the boy, from Halifax in West Yorkshire, was taken to Wigan Royal Infirmary with head and hip injuries.

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: “At this stage, his injuries aren’t thought to be life-threatening.”

Meanwhile, people who were at the medieval-themed attraction at the time, described the moments after the incident.

Gary Lambert, 34, from Euxton, near Chorley, who was with his three and one-year-old daughters, said: “Apparently, the kid was hanging from the ride by his feet.

“I think he was thrown clear of the ride on to the grass area at the back. Everyone was shepherded off the ride after it happened.

“I hear he walked on to the ambulance so he wasn’t too badly hurt.

“It was all quite calm and a really sombre atmosphere, and everyone was walking around and talking about it.

“I think all the staff were gathered for a talk. It must have been a shock for them all.”

Suzanne Hatton, who was visiting with her four children from Liverpool, said: “My daughters were on the ride next to Excalibur 2 when it happened.

“I didn’t see anyone fall out but I heard some shouting.

“My other two daughters were queuing up for the ride when it happened and I told them to get off.

“They shut the ride off and there was lots of staff around with radios.

“We stayed and saw some of the shows but we didn’t go on any more rides after that.”

Nicola Heywood, 35, from Manchester, was with her two children and said: “I saw someone hanging from the bars. We were sat on a bench quite far away at the time.

“Everyone was talking about it and all the staff were running around.

“The other rides were still going on around it. We just hope he’s OK.”

Statements were taken from several eye witnesses.

Roy Page, chief executive of Knights Leisure Limited, operators of Camelot, said: “At this stage, we do not know the full extent of the injuries sustained and our thoughts are with the young boy and his family.

“Until we have more information to hand, it would be inappropriate to make any further comment.”

A spokesman for the HSE said: “The HSE has launched a joint investigation with the police and inspectors are visiting the park.”

Excalibur 2 is a white-knuckle ride where revellers are spun around on a rotating arm.

It is one of Camelot’s most popular rides and was installed 10 years ago. It is subject to a daily, pre-opening maintenance and safety inspection and also undergoes an annual independent safety inspection.