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Commonwealth Games 2002

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SERVICES 
Monday, 23 July, 2001, 18:34 GMT 19:34 UK
Theme park drama traps 40
Rameses Revenge
The ride has been closed pending an investigation
More than 40 people were temporarily trapped upside down after a theme park ride stopped.

The accident occurred at 1255BST at Chessington World of Adventure in Surrey when the Rameses Revenge ride developed a technical fault.

A gondola carrying the 40 guests momentarily stopped upside down during a spin at a height of about 60ft.


The kids were laughing at first but towards the end reality began to sink in

James Ewart
Eyewitness
Seconds later a safety system cut in and lowered the gondola to the ground, its passengers upright and still strapped in with harnesses.

A spokeswoman said it had taken 20 minutes to release the passengers although they were only a few feet above the ground and were supplied with water because of the heat.

She said the ride had been closed pending an investigation although the remainder of the theme park remained open.

"They were mainly schoolchildren who thoroughly enjoyed themselves," she said.

"Nobody was in any danger and nobody was hurt. Everybody remained in their harnesses.

"I think they thought it was rather fun and part of the ride.

"The emergency services were called as a matter of procedure but the guests were released manually by a technician."

'Crying'

But James Ewart, 40, who was at the park with his 11-year-old son Tom, said some people had become upset.

"The kids were laughing at first but towards the end reality began to sink in and then they weren't laughing any more," he said.

"They were in some distress and there was some crying.

"I saw about five fire engines. They were standing around looking as though they didn't really know what to do.

There have been no previous problems on the ride.

There were no injuries although emergency services attended to six people, believed to have panicked in the heat or suffered asthma attacks.

James Ewart, 40, who was at the park with his 11-year-old son Tom, said: "They were in some distress and there was some crying.

See also:

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