St Neots fairground accident was ride’s second in 16 months

Fairground ride at St Neots cordoned off awaiting inspection from The Health and Safety Executive (J

Fairground ride at St Neots cordoned off awaiting inspection from The Health and Safety Executive (June 3) - Credit: Archant

A FAIRGROUND ride which malfunctioned in St Neots was involved in another incident less than 16 months ago, The Hunts Post understands.

The X-Scream ride, owned by James Fendick of Royston, is currently under investigation from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after a structural fault brought the ride, which was carrying 25 people, crashing to the ground at the town’s Riverside Park on May 31.

The HSE has revealed that it also carried out an investigation on Mr Fendick’s ride in February 2012 after a set of lights broke from a fixing and fell off, causing people on the ride in Ipswich to duck to avoid being hit by debris.

As this incident was not a structural fault, but involved part of the ride’s “theme”, the HSE concluded there were no grounds for enforcement action.

A spokesman said: “HSE investigated an earlier incident in Ipswich, when a piece of the ride’s theming fell off. Fortunately, nobody was injured in that incident.

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“The HSE investigation concluded that as no structural components were involved, there were no grounds for enforcement action.

“At present the two incidents appear to be wholly unconnected but our investigation continues.”

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A prohibition notice has been administered by the HSE inspector in charge of the St Neots investigation which prevents the ride from being used in its current condition.

Some of the children who were on the ride described how it began to rock, sending it off balance before it collapsed and dropped down.

The company that run the fairground, F C Muggeridge & Son, said they were “devastated” by the accident and stressed that nothing had happened like it in the 30 years they had been visiting St Neots.

Mr Fendick was unavailable for comment before we went to press.

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