Belfast Telegraph

Planet Fun fairground horror: Mum clings to child as safety bar allegedly opens during ride

By Amanda Ferguson

A Belfast man has told of how a family night out at a theme park turned into a nightmare and left him with fractured ribs and a dislocated shoulder and his 10-month-old baby son also injured.

On Monday evening the 24-year-old named Martin was at the travelling Planet Fun annual amusements attraction on Boucher Road in south Belfast with his children.

His six-year-old daughter, who has epilepsy and later suffered a seizure, feared for her life when a safety bar on one of the rides allegedly malfunctioned and she had to cling on while it was still moving.

Martin, who asked us to protect his identity, told the Belfast Telegraph the circumstances of the frightening incident.

"We arrived at Planet Fun at 6.10pm for a family day out," he said.

"I took my daughter on the swings and then she wanted to go on a ride.

"The bar was pulled down over her and her mum but it opened right out during the ride.

"She had to hold on to our daughter and push her feet down to keep them in the cart.

"If an adult hadn't been with her she would have been dead."

When Martin complained to the rider operators he says he was then attacked.

"Once they were off the ride I went over to the the guy and told him it was faulty," he said.

"He gave me dog's abuse and said 'there is nothing wrong with our rides'.

"I went to find someone higher up and a girl pushed me down two steps and as I turned he hit me a dig in the face and she tried to grab me and was scrabbing the neck off me.

"Another man kicked me and I fell to the ground and got myself into a ball to try and protect my head.

"About five or six of them booted and stamped on me, then security came running and they helped me out. They said they were 'animals'.

"My son's pram was pushed upside down and my son smashed his eye off the ground.

"He has a bump to his head and cut underneath his eye and around his nose.

"I have fractured ribs, bumps to the head, cuts to my face and neck, and a dislocated shoulder."

The father and son were transported by ambulance to the Royal Victoria Hospital and Children's Hospital for treatment.

The police are also investigating the matter, reported to them on Monday.

PSNI Inspector Murphy said: "Shortly before 6.50pm, it was reported that a 24-year-old man was assaulted in the area.

"He was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment to injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening.

"Inquiries are continuing and police are appealing to anyone who was in the Boucher Road playing fields area between 6pm and 6.50pm and who may have witnessed the incident to contact police at Musgrave Police Station on the non-emergency number 101."

A Planet Fun spokeswoman said: "We can confirm that an incident took place on Monday night.

"This is now a police matter and it would be inappropriate to comment further."

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