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Six UK Theme Park Rides Closed After Teen Killed In Ohio State Fair Crash

Safety inspections are underway.

01/08/2017 14:33

A number of theme park rides across England have been closed following the death of a teenager at a fair in the US.  

An 18-year-old marine was killed and several other people were injured when the Fire Ball ride at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus malfunctioned last week. 

Shocking footage captured by a witness at the scene shows the terrifying moment the spinning pendulum ride appeared to crash into something, throwing passengers to the ground as it continued to ascend. 

The cause of the crash is still unknown. 

Now, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has temporarily closed similar rides on this side of the pond while further safety checks are carried out. 

The watchdog said there are currently six of these machines operational in the UK, all of which have undergone safety inspections in the last 12 months. 

Rides at Pleasure Wood Hills in Suffolk, Ryan Crow Amusements in the north east and Coney Beach Fair in South Wales have all been shut. 

Brean Theme Park in Somerset has also closed its ride spinning pendulum ride, while an enforcement notice has been issued to Joseph Manning, who owns a ride in Hertfordshire. 

Paul Harrop/ Geograph
Lightwater Valley theme park has closed its Eagle Claw ride following the incident 

A HSE spokesperson said: “The sixth, at Lightwater Valley in North Yorkshire, was immediately take out of use following the incident in Ohio.

“This was a decision taken independently by the operator. Lightwater Valley has agreed to keep this machine out of use until the other five notices have been complied with.” 

A statement on the theme park’s website said its Eagle’s Claw ride has been closed “due to circumstances beyond our control”.   

A spokesperson for Lightwater Valley told HuffPost UK: “While there are fundamental and significant differences between our ride and the one involved in this terrible incident we entirely support the Health and Safety Executive’s decision to not operate these types of ride in Great Britain until all the facts are known and a comprehensive investigation has taken place.

“Our ride has undergone the most stringent of safety checks, however as a precaution we strongly believe this is the correct and responsible thing to do. The safety and wellbeing of our visitors is of paramount importance.” 

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