Fair owner fined over ride collapse
The owner of a fairground ride which left two teenagers seriously injured when it collapsed has been ordered to pay a total of more than £11,000.
Conor Baker and Danny Keogh, then both 16, were riding the Mega Bounce Frog at a fair in Abbey Park, Leicester, when the incident happened nearly two years ago.
Onlookers watched in horror as their car tipped up - resulting in Danny being thrown out and Conor hitting the protective barrier around the ride as it continued to spin on July 28 2012, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said.
The boys had been at the fair to celebrate the end of their GCSEs.
Danny was treated in intensive care following extensive surgery for a collapsed lung, broken arm and deep wounds to his side, which required 88 staples. He also needed stitches in his tongue and chin.
Conor suffered a broken nose, broken teeth, cuts to his face and a significant blow to the head.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found that a clip and pin securing the car to its operating arm had fallen out and that the ride, which had 14 cars, had been badly maintained.
Ride owner William Roberts, 36, of Atherton, Manchester, was fined £6,500 and ordered to pay costs of £5,000 at Leicester Magistrates' Court yesterday after admitting breaching Regulation 5(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Neil Ward said: "The unsafe condition of the ride resulted in very serious injuries to two young men who had gone out to celebrate finishing their GCSE exams.
"The outcome could have been much worse. It was a horrifying and painful experience for Conor and Danny and extremely distressing for their families, friends and members of the public who witnessed the incident.
"The public rightly expects rides to be safe. The safety-critical defects identified on this machine were very troubling. The inconsistencies in the pin ends were obvious and the pins and clips were safety-critical components that should have been thoroughly checked on a daily basis."