Nine children and two adults were seriously injured after a popular roller coaster ride in the U.K. derailed Sunday, according to early reports of the incident.
M&D theme park’s Tsunami carriage fell some 30 feet to the ground and landed on top of a children’s ride, per a report in The Mirror. It’s estimated that eight to 10 people were on board, and there may be people trapped in the wreckage, the report said. The extent of the injuries is unknown at this time.
The park was evacuated and emergency personnel were on the scene. Witnesses said much of the park fell silent and a group of panic-stricken fathers immediately rushed to the site of the accident and attempted to free those trapped under the toppled roller coaster. top on where those toddlers cars are parked,” said the witness, who asked not to be named. “It was difficult to see anyone under the wreckage though and everyone around just seemed like they couldn’t quite take in what they were seeing.”
The witness added that the group of fathers was unable to move the roller coaster.
“The place was eerily silent as everyone was in total shock. A group of dads were trying to tip the rollercoster carriage over to get access to the kids who were trapped inside but the thing was solid,” the witness continued. “When the reality of the situation struck everyone, there were kids in floods of tears and adults desperately trying to find their loved ones amid the chaos, with hundreds of people either trying to make their way to the exits or to offer their help at the scene.”
In a statement, Scotland Police said they were unable to confirm the extent of those injured.
“We can confirm we are currently working with other emergency services to ascertain the full extent of the situation,” the statement said. “We can confirm there are injured parties – approximately seven people.”
Paisley Daily Express reporter Gavin McNally was at M&D’s and reportedly said there are likely to be fatalities.
“It’s carnage,” McNally said. “There was definitely people on it, it was full – about 10 people. Two dozen guys ran to help firefighters to get the carriage upright after it fell kids’ cars below – the type you put a few pounds in for a shot. It will be a miracle if there are no fatalities.”
Witness Katie Burns wrote on Facebook: “Literally got off the Tsunami at M&D’s and then walking past and the next lot of people get on and the full thing goes off the tracks. “Honestly never been so scared in my life with this weather they should not be on. Kids and adults are still on it upside down, it’s like something out a horror film, children crying and everything.”
She added: “The noise was the worst and everyone screaming and guy tried to get his kid out but he couldn’t so people are stuck under it and it landed just on the ground near the kids’ Motor cycles. The wheels came right off the track and the full carriage went upside down .”
Another witness named Nik said she heard the crash, then chaos ensued.
“I was waiting in line at another ride with my friend and their kids, we heard the crash and saw lots of people running and screaming,” she said. “Was very scary for us and the kids. People were on the ground and lots of people were crying.”
The Tsunami, Scotland’s only inverted roller coaster, has a track rife with corkscrew twists and loops, and reaches speeds up to 40 miles per hour.