The Tsunami ride derailed and hit the ground at M&D’s amusement park at Strathclyde Country Park, Motherwell, near Glasgow, on Sunday afternoon. Witnesses said people were trapped upside down when the ride came off the rails at around 3.40pm.
Eight children and two adults were taken to hospitals nearby. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde confirmed on Monday that four children are at the Royal children’s hospital. Three are in a serious condition, while one is described as stable.
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One adult is in a stable condition at Glasgow Royal infirmary. NHS Lanarkshire said that five patients were taken to Wishaw general hospital. Of those, three children and one adult are said to be in a stable condition. Another child has been discharged, a spokesman confirmed.
Details of their injuries have not been released but the Scottish Sun reported that a 12-year-old girl pulled from the crash was in a coma after suffering what was believed to be serious head injuries. The newspaper also said an 11-year-old boy was undergoing surgery to save his hand.
Witnesses said the ride was full when it came off the track. Police, firefighters and paramedics rushed to the scene as several visitors posted images on social media appearing to show a mangled carriage on a path surrounded by dozens of people.
Witness Katie Burns said she had just finished riding the Tsunami and was walking past when the carriage crashed with children on board.
On Facebook, she said: “Literally got off the Tsunami at M&Ds and then walking past and the next lot of people get on and the full thing goes off the tracks. Kids and adults are still on it upside down, it’s like something out a horror film, children crying and everything.”Another witness James Millerick, who was queuing for a different rollercoaster at the park, said he heard “shrieks” from customers.
“When we got there the rollercoaster had come off the track entirely – straight through the gated fence at the side of the rollercoaster and was upside down on the concrete path at the side,” he told Sky News.
Ch Insp David Bruce said: “Along with other emergency services we attended immediately and on arrival it became clear that a series of five gondolas connected on a train on the Tsunami ride have detached from the rails, struck the superstructure and then struck the ground. We have launched an investigation and an inquiry between Police Scotland and the Health and Safety Executive.
“They [the gondolas] fell less than 20 feet. It would appear that they have been coming round a bend and at that point it has detached.”
Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, said: “My thoughts are with everyone involved in this terrible incident at M&D’s theme park, especially those injured.”
A spokesman for M&D’s said: “As a family-run business, our thoughts are with those who have been injured and their families. We wish everyone a full recovery. We are cooperating fully with Police Scotland and the Health and Safety Executive on their joint investigation to ascertain the cause of the accident.”
According to the M&D’s website, the Tsunami rollercoaster can go at speeds of up to 40mph through corkscrew turns and loops. Children under 10 are not allowed on the ride, and under 14s must be accompanied by an adult.
In July 2011, nine passengers, including children, were stranded for more than eight hours when the Tsunami came to a halt 60 feet above the ground.
And in March this year, eight people had to be rescued by firefighters in a cherry picker after the Tornado rollercoaster stopped working around 20 feet off the ground.