Roller Coaster Derails In Scotland 65 Feet In The Air: 8 Children, 2 Adults Injured

A roller coaster derailed in Motherwell, Scotland, near Glasgow, at a theme park called M&D’s. The incident took place Sunday around 4 p.m. and left eight children and two adults injured.

The roller coaster is called the Tsunami, which is described on the park’s website as “Scotland’s only inverted roller coaster.” Reaching speeds of about 40 mph, the ride includes “corkscrew twists, turns and loops.” Children younger than 10 years of age are not permitted to ride the roller coaster, and children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.

The roller coaster derailed and plummeted dozens of feet to the ground. Chief Inspector David Bruce of Police Scotland said it appeared the roller coaster derailed as it was coming around a bend, although he was not sure what how fast the ride was going when it left the rails.

“On arrival it became clear a series of five gondolas connected on a train on the Tsunami ride have detached from the rails, struck the superstructure and then struck the ground. They [the gondolas] fell less than 20 feet. It would appear that they have been coming round a bend and at that point it has detached. It’s an inverted roller coaster which means that the riders hang in gondolas below the rails rather than sit above them.”

Authorities evacuated the park while a number of emergency personnel arrived at the scene, including six ambulances, six fire engines, and specialists.

Terrified witnesses gave accounts of what they saw during the aftermath of the freak accident. One witness told the BBC that multiple people could be seen “trapped upside down on the ride.” Some people saw other visitors of the theme park run over to the derailed coaster and try to help those trapped on board.

Caitlin Barnes, 13-years-old, had ridden the Tsunami twice that day and was nearby when the roller coaster derailed.

“I heard first of all a loud bang….I saw the carriage just hurtling to the ground and then it crashed on top of another ride. I could see that there was lots of people trapped – probably up to 10 – and I saw a girl upside down, stuck.”

Three children are listed in serious condition at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow, USA Today reports. Another child is in stable condition. One of the two adults is in stable condition at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary. The other five people who were injured when the roller coaster derailed are being treated in hospitals in Lanarkshire.

The New York Daily News reports this isn’t the first time there’s been an incident involving the Tsunami ride. In July 2011, the ride came to a sudden stop 60 feet in the air with nine people stuck on the ride for eight hours. They eventually were freed by police using safety harnesses. Then in 2013, the ride stopped while 20 feet in the air, leaving eight riders stuck on the ride for an hour. Firefighters rescued the riders using a “cherry picker” machine.

Extremely wet weather on Sunday had caused multiple rides at the theme park to close before the roller coaster derailed. The theme park is now closed, according to a statement on the website from a park spokesperson.

“A serious incident occurred at M&D’s today involving the tsunami roller coaster. We have all emergency services on site to assist. The theme park is closed until further notice.”

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