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Boy, six, in hospital after falling from rollercoaster

The youngster’s injuries are not thought to be life-threatening after the incident at Lightwater Valley in North Yorkshire.

Video grab taken with permission from the Twitter feed of @RowlandBird of an air ambulance helicopter near Lightwater Valley theme park in North Yorkshire after a child was injured in a fall from a ride (Emma Rowland/PA)
Video grab taken with permission from the Twitter feed of @RowlandBird of an air ambulance helicopter near Lightwater Valley theme park in North Yorkshire after a child was injured in a fall from a ride (Emma Rowland/PA)

A six-year-old boy has been rushed to hospital after falling from a rollercoaster.

The youngster’s injuries are not believed to be life-threatening after the incident at Lightwater Valley, near Ripon in North Yorkshire, police said.

Witnesses said the boy plunged up to 15ft from the Twister ride at the theme park, with one saying they heard loud screams before seeing a child on the ground.

Lara-Susan James, who had just joined the queue for the rollercoaster with her children, said a group were shouting at the operator to stop the ride.

She said: “It was at that moment I realised something was wrong.

“I saw the operator apply the emergency stop.

“My husband pointed to the fallen kid on the ground, saying they had fallen out.

“When the ride stopped, the family jumped the barriers and went to the kid.

“I ushered our kids away as I don’t want them to hear or see any more.”

Images on social media show an air ambulance and emergency staff at the site, which police attended at around 11.30am on Thursday.

Mark Charnley, who was queuing for the Twister with his 10-year-old daughter while enjoying a half-term break, said he looked up to see the boy “hanging backwards outside of the actual carriage”.

He told Sky News: “He’s obviously got himself out of his restraint somehow.

“Two seconds after that he actually fell out of the carriage to the floor, maybe around 12-15 foot he fell.

“After that everybody in the queue, everybody around, started shouting to the operator of the ride to shut it down as he hadn’t noticed what had gone on.

“Two guys dove over the actual barriers to get to the lad who was on the floor.

“After that I got out of there with my daughter. I’m quite surprised they did leave the actual park open to be honest with you.

“I would’ve thought they would have closed it down.”

Health and Safety Executive staff are now at the park carrying out assessments, a Lightwater Valley spokeswoman said.

She added: “We take the health and safety of our visitors very seriously and are committed to providing support to the affected family.

“The ride concerned will remain closed until a full investigation has taken place.”

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The sign outside Lightwater Valley theme park in North Yorkshire (Dave Higgens/PA)

The park bills itself as the “ultimate family adventure” on its website.The Twister is described as a “spinning rollercoaster” which “gives an awesome, fun-packed experience for all the family”.

“The track is full of seriously tight turns, giving riders the impression that they might not make it around the next corner, with the threat of plummeting into the treetops being a constant source of tension for parents (and amusement for the kids)!” the Lightwater Valley websites says.

Riders must be taller than 4ft 11in (1.5m) unaccompanied or more than 4ft (1.2m) if accompanied by an adult, it adds.

Durham University student Gemma Savage died when two cars collided on the park’s Treetop Twister ride in 2001.

Paris-based Reverchon Industries SA, which manufactured and supplied the ride, was found guilty at Leeds Crown Court of two charges of failing to ensure its safe design and construction, and failing to give information necessary to ensure the ride was safe when open to the public.

PA

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