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Saturday 10 December 2016

Eight children, two adults injured as rollercoaster derails

Gondolas lie on the ground after falling from the track. Photo: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
Gondolas lie on the ground after falling from the track. Photo: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Eight children and two adults were taken to hospital after a rollercoaster derailed at a theme park in Scotland.

Witnesses said the Tsunami ride at M&D's amusement park in Motherwell, near Glasgow, had been full when it came off the track shortly before 3.50pm.

Police, firefighters and paramedics rushed to the scene as several visitors posted images on social media appearing to show a mangled carriage on a pathway surrounded by dozens of people.

Police originally said 11 people had been hurt but later revised it to 10. A police spokesman said there were nine passengers on the ride at the time.

"The gondolas fell less than 20 feet. It would appear they were coming round a bend and at that point it has detached," said Chief Insp David Bruce.

Speed

"It's an inverted rollercoaster which means that the riders hang in gondolas below the rails rather than sit above them.

"It would appear to come off as it came round a corner. It struck the ground but it hadn't hit anything on the ground.

"I don't know what speed it would have been travelling."

In one image, taken by witness Dean Borris, people can be seen trapped upside down in their seats on the carriage, with their legs sticking up in the air.

Park visitor Katie Burns said she had just finished riding the Tsunami rollercoaster and was walking past when the carriage crashed with children on board.

"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," she wrote on Facebook.

"Never been so scared in my life, with this weather they should not be on. Kids and adults are still on it upside down, it's like something out a horror film."

A video posted on social media showed the confused aftermath of the crash, with staff warning the crowds to give emergency services room.

Witness James Millerick, who was queuing for another rollercoaster at the theme park, said he heard "shrieks" from customers.

He said he thought the rollercoaster had slipped off the tracks as it came around a corner but did not fall from the highest point.

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