Ride at UK’s oldest theme park collapses leaving two people injured in crush

A ride at the oldest theme park in the UK collapsed, leaving two people injured in a crush as thrillseekers frantically tried to clamber free.

Children were heard screaming as onlookers rushed to help, with some even climbing onboard to help those who were trapped.

Witnesses described seeing the Shipwrecked ride at Blackgang Chine on the Isle of Wight suddenly tip to one side.

Others said the ride – which had only just opened for the day – was making creaking noises minutes earlier.

Two men were taken to hospital, one with leg injuries and one with a damaged shoulder.

Miraculously, neither were seriously hurt.

It happened at the theme park – which opened in 1843 – in Blackgang, near Ventnor, Isle of Wight on Monday, August 8.

The park was shut for the rest of the day but reopened yesterday.

Ellie Westlake’s two brothers-in-law were those hurt on the magic carpet-style attraction.

She said: “My family, which includes a three-year-old, were on the ride and it began to make an odd sound.

“It then collapsed, which caused them all to go to one side and be squished.”

Ellie, of Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset added: “My partner ran to grab my nephew and ended up pulling everyone else off the ride.

“After everyone was off, we noticed my brother-in-law, who is 20, hurt his leg and was unable to move it, or feel anything in his left leg.

“My other brother-in-law has done something to his shoulder.

“They both got rushed to St Mary’s Hospital in Newport.

“My partner has also damaged his shoulders and neck from pulling people off the ride.”

Samantha Downham was also on the ride at the time.

She said: “It started going really slowly and then all of a sudden it just tipped to one side.

“We thought it was part of the ride, and then a lady started screaming because I think her arm was in between the side of the ride and the barrier.

“Then, a load of people started coming over and others started trying to climb out and get down.”

Mark Duncan, of Aylesbury, Bucks witnessed the panic.

He said: “The ride was at its peak height when it smashed to the ground on its right side making a really loud noise.

“Everybody on the ride was immediately thrown to their left side and appeared to be really tightly scrunched together.

“There were lots of terrified screams and one girl was completely hysterical even after her feet were on solid ground.

“She was sitting to the far left as you look at the ride, my wife, daughter and grandson were on the ride 20 minutes before and heard loud grinding noises.

“The noises were obvious and could clearly be heard even when you were standing by the ride.”

A Blackgang Chine spokeswoman said: “Here at Blackgang Chine we experienced an incident with our Shipwrecked ride on Monday.

“Our team have quickly responded to the incident and all guests were quickly and safely evacuated.

“The safe performance of our rides is key to what we do and we would like to reassure all guests that we have stringent safety control procedures in place that we were able to instantly deploy.

“We can confirm that no serious injuries were sustained and an NHS Ambulance attended the scene.”

An Isle of Wight NHS Trust Ambulance spokeswoman said: “Two people were taken to hospital by ambulance with minor injuries.”