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Last Updated: Monday, 6 November 2006, 14:06 GMT
'Panic' while trapped upside down
Darren Wood
Darren Wood was trapped for two hours with a friend
A man trapped upside down for an hour when a funfair ride jammed has told how he panicked when his limbs went numb in the cold as blood rushed to his head.

Darren Wood, 24, from Motherwell, was among 18 people trapped on the ride at Strathclyde Country Park near Glasgow.

He said: "I was really worried, I was cold and panicking. My shoulders were sore because of the pressure. It was frightening, the rescue was laborious."

Mr Wood was rescued after a two-hour wait on the Move It ride.

I'd like to know what caused the accident and why it took so long to rescue us
Darren Wood

The ride jammed at about 2045 BST on Sunday, stranding 18 people in mid-air.

"It came to a halt while we were upside down, everyone thought it was part of the ride," Mr Wood said.

"I was upside down for about an hour, looking down I could see fire services and thought I'd be rescued soon.

"Blood was rushing to my head, it was cold, my arms and legs were getting numb and that worried me.

Firefighters at the Move It ride
Mr Wood took this picture of firefighters on the scene

"My body was pushing on my shoulders and they were really sore.

"I was panicked and I tried to focus but it was quite scary."

The 18 carnival-goers were "flipped over" after an hour and had blankets passed to them.

Mr Wood said he was "disappointed" by the lack of communication during the time it took to get him down.

He said: "I was relieved to get off and was shivering because of my nerves and the cold.

"No-one offered any explanation.

"I'd like to know what caused the accident and why it took so long to rescue us."

We asked for comments from readers who witnessed the rescue.


I was also at last nights event and was on the 'move it' ride. I was on the ride before 20.00 and it made a rather nerve shattering grinding noise. I assumed it was part of the ride to build tension as after the niose the ride picked up speed before coming to an end. This was first time on such a ride. I 've had an unexplained fear of fair ground rides since childhood, needless to say I might not be bak on one for a while.
Jonathan O'Reilly, Wishaw

My family have been in the travelling fairground business for many generations and would like to say that all fairground equipment undergoes an annual safety inspection (including an electrical test) from independant organisations who are qualified in this area. The ride in question is a very modern ride and the safety of the riders is paramount, this is why the safety bars did not pop open when the ride stopped and was also a major factor, as to why it took a long time to free riders.

It is unfortunate, but unforeseeable that the ride came to a halt in the inverted position.

Fairground rides operate in their hundreds from one end of the country to the other, carrying millions of riders each year and statistically has an excellent safety record.


Albert Codona, Carlisle

I was on the ride about 2 hours before the ride got stuck. we seen someone with what looked like a spirit level placing it on the ride. There was a big delay between the last people coming off and us getting on.When we got on the ride there was smoke and a smell which may have been diesel or oil.When we were leaving the park about 9pm we even made a comment that the fire engine that passed us as we walked out was for that ride.
laura m, cleland,motherwell,scotland

I was on the same ride about two hours previously, and it was making a very loud grinding noise. While we were queueing to get on, the mechanics were working on it.

We had been at the fireworks display and saw all the fire engines, police and ambulances going there as we were leaving.

I suspect that they were aware that it wasn't working properly at that time. I think there should be an investigation, because if that is the case, it was irresponsible for them to continue letting people on.
Michael, Bothwell

I cant beleive they let the ride go on i went on the ride with some friends and it broke down TWICE! while we were on it it also lost power twice and we were stuck tilted for about fifteen minutes again no explanation was offered
Daniel Gray, Ashgill, Scotland

I was down there last night with my friend and were coming off one ride to go on to the one that was broken down. at first we thought it was just up there as part of the ride but as time went on realised that something was wrong. We stood for about an hour and a half watchin and waiting for then to be freed. but left and they were still upside down. I was shockin the lenght of time that they were up there you could see their faces getting redder and redder. Paramedics were tryin to get them to move to keep their circulation going i assume but some just wanted off.
Claire Carmichael, Forth, Scotland

I was not at the park but heard about the incident on the news, the fire crews should be praised for their actions on the busiest night of the year for them. If you want point a finger why not point it at the PARK and the maintenance crews and ask them for answers.
Gillian Davis, Glasgow

Mr. Wood should be praising the rescue services for getting him down, intact and unharmed, in 2 hours instead of criticizing them.
dave smoth, wakefield

We witnessed this ride upside down. PLEASE NOTE ..... These rides were NOT at M&D's, they were shows set up for this event and appeared to be run by Travelling showground people. What was very noticable that the Fire Service had a hard time getting to the areaas the access roads were blocked by the large numbers of people watching the Firework show. The people on the ride were still on it when we left the area about 21.30
Derek, Hamilton South Lanarkshire

This is the busiest time of the year for the fire brigade. they responded immediately but were slowed down by the vast crowds blocking the entrance way so not only the safety of the fair ground ride passengers was at risk but also the members of the public who were getting in the paths of the engines. secondly i would rather they take time getting everyone down in one piece and unharmed than rush to get them down where injuries or more serious incidents could occur. they should be applauded not critised for their actions.
branwyn collins, west yorkshire

Surely the owners of the ride should have had some kind of emergency process that should have had everyone safely removed from the ride within minutes ?? To hold the Fire Brigade accountable feels somewhat unjust.
Richard Lane, Bournemouth

I have been on the ride before and it does often stop upside down to taunt the riders as the operator shouts random things to them via the PA system. I think that what probably happened was the ride stopped delibrately as it usually does, but then the ride froze due to a fault in the hydraulics that turn the ride upsidedown, im not garunteeing that I am right, but I do happen to be a fan of rides like the one effected (which is called move it) and know quite a bit about them.
Peter Wittland, Whitley Bay, England

Due to last nights events, there has been some negative comments about 'Move it' which is a ride i've worked alongside many times. These rides are built to very high standards, with all aspects of accidents taken into account. The ride experinced an un-stoppable technical error which caused the machine to lock in the positon it did. Having rides of my own i know the problems that can occur, but do noy have tell tale signs. This has been an unfortunate accident and is not either the ride operator or ride owners fault.
Max Taylor, Glasgow

As a frequent visitor to Strathclyde Country Park for my rowing training, I am shocked and disappointed that this kind of thing could happen and that the emergency services were so badly prepared.
Dave Anderson, Edinburgh, Scotland

I couldnt believe it last night. We had just had a great time at the fireworks and then this happened. If it was a more serious incident then who knows what could have happened if the emergency services were delayed.
Jackie Pearson, Bellshill, Lanarkshire

I was at the firworks display last night when the ride broke down, leaving the people on it unpside down. I noticed it just before nine and the ride remained upside down until we were told to leave the park, which was about 10.30pm. At 11.30pm, bbc24 reported that all 18 were still trapped on the ride. So it was not brought upright within half an hour. It all seemed very disorganised, it looked as though the services didnt have a plan in place. Surely there must be some kind of procedure to follow in this kind of situation, its not as though its the first time this has happend. It is amazing that no one was seriously injured.
Julie Wright, East Kilbride

I went on the ride earlier on during the night and it was making an awful noise, it stopped a few times and seemed to have difficulty turning round.
Lindsay Loudon, Forth, Scotland

I think the fire dept. should be given credit for getting everybody down safely. Nobody suffered serious injury and this should largely be accredited to the skills of the ride mechanics and the fire department.

It is ridiculous to expect the fire brigade to be more prepared for this type of accident. I could not imagine them being called to more than one or two incidents such as this a year. Spending time and money preparing for an accident such as this is surely better spent training for more serious accidents and fire fighting.
Rob White, Portsmouth, England

I was at the event, and actually waiting to get on the ride in question and saw the events unfold. I feel that the criticisims of the response and handling of the incident are unjust, as you can never account for this sort of thing happening.

From what I saw, there was teams of first aid, and ambulance personell allready on site for the event, and they were at the incident within minutes.

Although the crowd exiting the park affected response times and routes for the further emergency teams that arrived, the teams that were there allready had set up plenty of supplies to help those coming of the ride.

The workers from the ambulance service and st andrews ambulance first aid, and fire brigade should be applauded for thier quick response to this. And that we should all be thankful it wasn't much worse as it could have been.
William Roberts, Hamilton

In response to julie Rodger from Stonehouse who critisiced the firebrigade. This was bonfire night one of the buisess nights of the year for them.
Dale Walters, falkirk

I was at the park after the fireworks display for over an hour and the whole time the ride was stuck upside down. For most of that time the ride mechanics were working on the arm that held the seated area upside down and I never did get to see them get it upright. I would have expected more contingency for this type of incident.
Chris West, East Kilbride, Scotland

the ride broke down about 8.20 & the kids were hung upside down for over an hour & a half. they did not let the ride down in stages. they finally cut the hydraulic feed & seated area just dropped. i'm surprised none of the kids suffered injuries from the jolt of being thrown.

the first boy to be freed was suffering panic attacks.

M&D's (which is also situated in Strathclyde Country Park) is a large attraction. The fire brigade should have been more prepared for something like this to happen.
julie Rodger, Stonehouse

I was at the fireworks display in Strathclyde park and was in the crowd waiting to cross the footbridge from Motherwell to Hamilton, when several ambulances and fire engines tried to get through the crowd. The crowd was blocking the only route to the fairground area and may have cost the emergency services valuable time. Further planning for emeregency routes may be required in the future.
Andy, Hamilton, Scotland

Me and my husband were there last night and the ride stuck when we arrived at 8.15pm and we thought it was part of the ride, then when we passed the ride after the display it was stuck again only more serious this time.
Evonne Gaittens, Motherwell




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
A trapped passenger describes the ordeal



SEE ALSO
Funfair accident probe under way
06 Nov 06 |  Glasgow and West
Eighteen rescued from fair ride
06 Nov 06 |  Scotland

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