Child rushed to hospital after people rescued from rollercoaster at Southport Pleasureland

Emergency services were called to the theme park on Marine Drive after a rollercoaster broke down mid-ride. Credit: Google Earth

A young girl was rushed to hospital after hitting her head and losing consciousness and 18 others were rescued when a rollercoaster broke down mid-ride in Merseyside.

Emergency services were called to Southport Pleasureland, on Marine Drive on Saturday, 27 August, after the Rocket Coaster stopped working.

When they arrived, Merseyside Fire and Rescue found 19 people trapped on a ride, including a the young girl who had a head injury as a result of the ride's sudden stoppage.

North West Ambulance Service, who were also at the scene, say the child, who was unconscious but breathing, was treated by paramedics before being taken to Alder Hey Children's Hospital.

Southport Pleasureland say it has now launched an investigation.

Staff at the amusement park used a cherry picker to safely remove all the people stuck on the ride, and say at no point was anyone "at any risk of falling", with the carriages "secure on the track".

The work to remove everyone safely from the ride is believed to have taken around 90 minutes.

North West Ambulance Service says the child, who was unconscious but breathing, was treated at the scene before being taken to hospital

The ambulance service said 17 people were given precautionary checks by paramedics.A spokesperson for Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service said: "A multi-agency meeting took place between North West Ambulance Service and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service and the Health and Safety Executive was informed.

"The ride is to be isolated and a full inspection to be carried out."

Southport Pleasureland said senior management and the theme park's maintenance team are continuing a "thorough investigation" on Sunday "into carriages stopping on the park’s Rocket Coaster yesterday morning."In a statement a Southport Pleasureland spokesperson said: “We are sorry for the distress caused to passengers on one of our coasters yesterday. Our immediate priority was looking after everyone’s safe removal from the ride."Senior management and maintenance team members are today continuing a thorough investigation into carriages stopping on the park’s Rocket Coaster yesterday morning. All routine maintenance checks had been carried out, as they are on all rides each morning, before the ride went into commission."The ride did exactly what its safety settings are programmed to do and stopped on detecting a fault. It was the first run of the day and the ride, which has a 22-person capacity, was loaded with 19 riders.“No one was at any risk of falling from the ride, the carriages were secure on the track and the park’s operations director immediately made his way up the gantry to speak to riders and explain that they would be brought off the ride safely, as part of the park’s instant response safety process."At the same time the maintenance crew was further immobilising carriages to ensure passengers’ safe exit from the ride via one of the park’s cherry pickers. An ambulance and the fire brigade were called immediately, both standard emergency-response practice."A young girl who had lost consciousness was the team’s priority, and checked by ambulance paramedics. That first-response healthcare team was available to other passengers."On seeing how the park was handling the situation and safely retrieving passengers, the fire brigade commended the team, took no action and left the scene. As a consequence of calling maintenance staff to attend the coaster, one or two of the other rides were off for a very short while during the day."This is because the systems require reset buttons to be pressed – something that is maintenance’s responsibility. This represented a very short disruption.“Our priority is always safety and our team checks and maintains rides, and trains to keep emergency procedures front of mind, should they be needed, so they are delivered fast and effectively. Once again we apologise to our passengers."