herald

Monday 23 October 2017

Women tell of two-hour terror ordeal at 171ft

A MOTHER has spoken of her holiday hell after she was stuck 171 feet above ground for two hours on an amusement park ride.

Ann Hoctor, who was marooned with her daughters, said they were "very frightened" during the ordeal and broke down crying afterwards.

The Hoctor family have now cut short their seaside break.

Ann and daughters Leah and Shannon were among six people on a chair-o-plane in Tramore Amusement Park in Co Waterford when it ground to a halt.

"I just looked across to my friend … and I knew there was something wrong," said Ann, from Birr, Co Offaly.

A worker climbed up and assured them they would be down in five minutes.

However, it was not until two hours later that the fire brigade managed to bring them down. Ann said they were "sitting in a seat just dangling", telling the children "everything was fine".

They were "trying to make light of it rather than trying to panic the kids more", she told Joe Duffy on RTE's Liveline.

"It's frightening, very frightening. Shannon was having a right panic attack. I was saying to her 'look out to the sea, watch the sea, watch the gulls, watch the lighthouse'."

They haven't slept since the incident.

"We're packing up to head home. The kids want to go home and I don't mind saying I can't wait to go home. I'm sick," Ann said.

The ordeal was made "10 times worse" by comments on news websites saying they were "overweight" and should not have been on the ride.

"When we got down, [her friend] Amanda started roaring and crying straight away. I had to go to the ambulance and then I broke down."

comurphy@herald.ie

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