Girls tell of fairground ride terror

SCHOOLGIRLS injured in a terrifying fairground accident at Long Melford today told how they feared for their lives as the ride collapsed around them.

PICS OF THE GIRLS AT SITE AND aftermath of accident.>

SCHOOLGIRLS injured in a terrifying fairground accident at Long Melford today told how they feared for their lives as the ride collapsed around them.

Five people were taken to West Suffolk Hospital - two had been trapped in the mangled wreckage - after the Hellraiser ride collapsed with around 20 revellers on board at the Big Night Out at Long Melford on Friday.

A 24-year-old woman was thought to have suffered serious spinal injuries, but hospital bosses said damage to her back was not as severe as feared and she was allowed home on Saturday morning.


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A 20-year-old man, from Glemsford, suffered serious leg injuries and is thought to have needed surgery.

The others taken to the unit were two 16-year-old girls and a 14-year-old girl and all three were discharged after they were checked over for injuries including cuts and bruises.

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Another teenager, Hannah Ryan, was among a dozen or so passengers who sustained minor injuries. The 14-year-old relived the horrifying moment the cars smashed into each other concertina-style.

The shocked youngster, who lives in Glemsford, said: “The ride started juddering and the wooden platform at the side began collapsing before all the cars hit the floor - one smashing into the next. It was a terrifying moment. I thought I was going to die.”

Hannah was hit on the head by flying wood and is still suffering from dizzy spells and headaches.

Her friend Zoe Cooke, also 14 and from Glemsford, said she feared for her life was trapped in another car: “I did not know if I would get out alive. I just feel relieved nothing worse happened because it could so easily have killed us all. We thought it was part of the ride then it crashed.

“The car behind had gone into us and we had gone into the car in front so we were trapped. My legs were scrunched and the bar was against my chest. The paramedics said I was lucky not to break my legs.”

The accident is now being investigated by the Health and Safety Executive.

Organiser Andrew Hagger said: “I very much sympathise with the people who were hurt - this accident has broken our excellent 39-year health and safety record.

“It would be a great shame if what happened ended the Big Night Out. It's an enjoyable family event that last year raised £22,000, which was split between 60 local charities.

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