Funfair ride 'collapse' caused by 'misuse of equipment' by teens, organisers say

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The Star Flyer funfair ride at Planet Fun in Carrickfergus, Co Antrim, which collapsed on Saturday evening, injuring six people. Picture date: Sunday July 25, 2021. (Photo by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images)
The Star Flyer funfair ride at Planet Fun in Carrickfergus, Co Antrim, collapsed on Saturday evening, leaving six people injured. (PA/Getty)

An incident at a funfair that left six people, including at least three children, injured was caused by teenagers misusing equipment, organisers have said. 

Several people were taken to hospital after the incident on a swing ride at Planet Fun in Carrickfergus, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, on Saturday. 

Emergency services were called to the scene just before 6pm after receiving reports that a ride had "collapsed".

The incident sparked a probe by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and on Sunday organisers said a preliminary investigation had determined that the ride had no mechanical defect and the funfair had been cleared to reopen - but the ride involved, The Star Flyer, would remain closed.

The Star Flyer funfair ride at Planet Fun in Carrickfergus, Co Antrim, which collapsed on Saturday evening, injuring six people. Picture date: Sunday July 25, 2021. (Photo by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images)
On Sunday organisers said the HSE had ruled that the funfair could reopen but the ride itself would remain closed. (PA/Getty)

In a Facebook post, Planet Fun wrote: "Following a preliminary investigation by the Health & safety executive planet fun have been cleared to reopen and it is confirmed the equipment has not got any mechanical defects.

"We will however be keeping the star flyer closed pending further safety checks and investigation."

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"The incident tonight was caused by misuse of equipment by the behaviour of several teenagers on the attraction and is to be further investigated by the PSNI.

"The swift actions by our staff to terminate the ride prevented further injuries.

"At this time we cannot comment any further on the incident but would extend our thoughts and best wishes to the people who were injured."

In a Facebook post, Planet Fun said the incident had been caused by misuse of equipment by several teenagers on the attraction. (Facebook/Planet Fun)
In a Facebook post, Planet Fun said the incident had been caused by misuse of equipment by several teenagers on the attraction. (Facebook/Planet Fun)
An information sign next to the Star Flyer funfair ride at Planet Fun in Carrickfergus, Co Antrim, which collapsed on Saturday evening, injuring six people. Picture date: Sunday July 25, 2021. (Photo by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Organisers said the issue was caused by misuse of equipment by teenagers. (PA/Getty)

The Health and Safety Executive has said that its investigation is ongoing and the ride involved will remain closed until it has been completed. 

Police said they continue to help and support the Health and Safety Executive in its enquiries.

Zara McGeown, whose daughter, nine, and 10-year-old niece were on the ride, told BBC News NI she "felt helpless" watching the ride "get more and more out of control".

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