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Last Updated: Friday, 16 April, 2004, 07:00 GMT 08:00 UK
Girl dies in 100ft rollercoaster fall
Hydro water ride
Hydro is described as 'Europe's fastest and wettest water coaster'
A 16-year-old girl from south Wales has died after falling 100ft from the top of a rollercoaster at a west Wales theme park.

Hayley Williams from Pontypool was flown by air ambulance to Withybush Hospital in Haverfordwest after the accident on the Hydro ride at Oakwood near the resort of Tenby in Pembrokeshire.

Ten-year-old Martin Rothwell from Swansea - who was on the same ride at the same time - was also taken to hospital by road but he was later discharged with minor head injuries.

Police confirmed on Thursday evening that Hayley died at hospital.

Inspector Phil Jones from Dyfed Powys Police said the teenager had fallen while she was at the top of the ride.

Officers said they were faced with the decision of whether or not to close the park or not but decided against it because they wanted to identify potential witnesses.

Chief Inspector Roger Hughes said on Thursday evening that Hayley's family were being consoled by trained police officers.

"As you would expect they are extremely distraught," he said.

Hydro water ride
The Hydro attraction was opened in June 2002
The Health and Safety Executive are carrying out an investigation and an incident room has been set up at Haverfordwest Police Station.

The 121ft Hydro ride, opened in June 2002, is described by Oakwood as "Europe's fastest and wettest" water-coaster.

Its 24-seater boat drops down a near-vertical chute into a plunge pool at 50 miles an hour, creating a 45-foot wave.

Oakwood itself attracts more than 400,000 visitors every year and is among the 10 most popular UK theme parks.

It is expected that Oakwood will be open as usual on Friday - but the Hydro ride will be closed for examination.

The coroner has been informed.

Police are appealing for anyone with information regarding the accident to call Pembroke Dock police station on 01646 682121.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Treeva Fenwick
"The Hydro ride is likely to be out of action whilst the Health and Safety Executive carry out an investigation"



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