Panic took over in Brighton on Monday afternoon when a decorative airplane part of one the rides on its iconic pier partially came loose and hit a boy. Pictures from the pier show paramedics, firefighters and police officers attending the crowded scene, with dozens of people still on the pier. Emergency services were called shortly after 3pm, the East Sussex Fire and Rescue said. Only one person, a teenage male, remained injured, but many others were left in shock by the accident, according to the local ambulance service.
The boy, who was hit at his leg, had to be taken away on a stretcher, according to a witness.
The passerby, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “A boy who looked in his mid-teens was being taken off the pier on a stretcher.
“He was wincing and the ambulance crews with him gave him a pimp to take breaths from.”
A spokesman for South East Coast Ambulance Service said: “We have responded to an incident on #BrightonPier today in which it was reported at approximately 3pm that a piece of a ride had come loose.
“A teenage male has been taken to hospital with a leg injury.”
The spokesman also said other people were “shaken” by the events.
He added: “Others were shaken but uninjured. We are clearing from the scene.”
The spokesman added their Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) was also in attendance.
The damaged ride is called Air Race and spins adrenaline-seekers around on two-seat shuttles lifted from the ground.
According to the Brighton Palace Pier’s website, the ride can help experiencing “the sensations of an acrobatic aeroplane flight, banks, loops, dives and weightlessness that will test even the most experienced of thrillseekers”.
Roger Thorne, 73, and his wife Anne, 78, were on the pier as events unfolded and were able to give a vivid image of how emergency services intervened.
He said: “We saw kids on the ride just half an hour before it happened. It flips upside down with a lot of momentum
“When we were walking back to the pier we saw paaramedics with a stretcher running up the pier.”
Anne added: “Another paramedic was on a quad bike. She grabbed a bag and ran over to behind the railings.”
A spokesman for Sussex Police initially said four people had remained lightly injured in the accident.
He said: “Police and other emergency services are attending Brighton Palace Pier after a fairground ride was reported to have failed at about 3pm on Monday.
“Initial indications are that four people have sustained injuries that are not thought to be serious at this time.
“There are currently no further details.”
The chief executive officer of The Brighton Pier Group, Anne Ackord, could not explain the reason of the malfunction.
She said: “This is very rare for something to be unexplained.
“The operator did the right thing by pressing the emergency button as part of our well rehearsed crisis plan.
“We have spoken with the manufacturer who will be flying in from Italy for an investigation.
“One gentleman is being treated for injuries to his leg.”
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