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Owner fined after fairground ride collapses

Two teenage boys were seriously injured when a fairground ride collapsed, landing the owner in court.

What happened?

Conor Baker and Danny Keogh, both 16-years-old, were riding the Mega Bounce Frog attraction at Abbey Park in Leicester when the ride collapsed, sending the two of them flying from the car.

A court heard that crowds of people at the fair saw the car tip up, throwing one boy out and slamming the other into the protective barrier around the ride.

An investigation into the incident found that, not only had the ride been poorly maintained, but a clip and pin securing the car to its operating arm had fallen out.

The investigation also found that one of the retaining pins and clips from the boys’ car was found tapered and damaged on the deck of the ride. Additionally it found that the clip had been pushed into an off-centre hole that didn’t satisfactory grip the pin.

Furthermore a second tapered pin was found on the ride which also had an off-centre hole, along with two defective seatbelts. The HSE has since served a prohibition notice, preventing further use of the ride until adequate safety changes have been made.

Danny Keogh sustained extensive injuries, including a collapsed lung, broken arm and deep wounds to his side. He was treated in intensive care where a total of 88 staples were used in his surgery.

Conor Baker was also treated for multiple injuries, including broken teeth, a broken nose, lacerating to his face and a significant blow to the head.

What was the outcome?

The fairground owner, William Norman Roberts, was fined £6,500 and ordered to pay costs of £5,000 after admitting to breaching the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

HSE inspector, Neil Ward, said:

“The unsafe condition of the ride resulted in very serious injuries to
two young men who had gone out to celebrate
finishing their GCSE exams.

“The outcome could have been much worse. It was a horrifying and painful
experience for Conor and Danny and extremely distressing for
their families, friends and members of the public
who witnessed the incident.

“The public rightly expects rides to be safe. The safety-critical defects
identified on this machine were very troubling. The inconsistencies
in the pin ends were obvious and the pins and clips were
safety-critical components that should have been
thoroughly checked on a daily basis.”

If you have been affected by an accident that wasn’t your fault, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email

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