Rollercoaster disaster: nine people hospitalised

Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service v M&D Leisure Ltd (2019) Hamilton Sheriff Court, March 8

Statutory reference: regulation 5 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)

M&D Leisure Ltd, a theme park operating company, has been fined following an incident in which nine people were injured.

The facts

  • In June 2016 a train on the Tsunami rollercoaster at a Theme Park in Motherwell was carrying nine passengers.
  • It derailed as it was descending through a curve at a height of five metres. It crashed to the ground in an area containing mini-self drive cars and bicycles. All the passengers were injured and hospitalised.
  • The rollercoaster was not maintained in an efficient state or efficient working order.
  • It was not in good repair and weld repairs carried out on its axles were inadequate and unsound.

The decision

The company was fined £65,000 for a breach of PUWER.

An HSE inspector commented after the case that it was imperative that all controllers of fairground rides had thorough maintenance procedures in place to ensure that the public were safe when they were enjoying the thrills at a fair or theme park.

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