A company has been fined more than £37,000 for failing to ensure people's safety on a rollercoaster ride.
The front carriage of the ride was left dangling over a 16ft gap
Hove Crown Court heard how the Turbo Rollercoaster on Brighton Pier was left dangling over a gap in December 2002. Nobody was injured in the incident.
The Brighton Marine Palace and Pier Company admitted failing to ensure the health and safety of ride passengers.
The Tyne-and-Wear-based company was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £22,109 in costs.
The court heard how eight passengers were sent on the ride after a 16ft section of track had been removed for maintenance.
A worker spotted the problem and stopped the cars just before the missing section, though part of the front car was left hanging over the gap.
Russell Adfield of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said: "This ride was undergoing routine maintenance but neither the operator nor members of the public were aware of that.
"What that meant is that innocent members of the public were allowed to use a ride that was in a highly dangerous state and that is clearly unacceptable."
Gary Morris, who was on the Turbo Coaster that day, said: "Everybody was having fun then, as it went around, we saw that part of the rail was missing.
"As naive as it sounds, we actually probably thought it was part of the ride.
"All of a sudden it ground to a halt and the front carriage was left dangling over the rails.
"It could have been a tragedy."