Three youngsters died and 17 people were injured in a roller coaster crash at a London fairground on Tuesday (30 May).
Three youngsters died and 17 people were injured in a roller coaster crash at a London fairground on Tuesday (30 May). Two children among the injured were reportedly in critical condition. Eye-witnesses said screams of delight turned to terror when three cars of the roller coaster, called the "Big Dipper", at the Battersea Fun Fair suddenly plunged backwards down the track and jumped the rails at the bottom.
When the accident happened, the cars were being winched normally up the 60 feet (18 meters) slope on a cable. But then, without warning, they fell back down, smashing up against the Dipper's superstructure leaving a tangle of splintered wood and bleeding bodies. The three-section cars had been nearing their highest point when disaster struck.
Rescue workers and fairground staff tore at the wreckage in an effort to free the injured.
The funfair was packed at the time with children enjoying a spring holiday from school.
There was no immediate explanation of what caused the Dipper cars to slide back down the track, and a spokesman for the boy that controls the fairground promised a thorough investigation.
The Big Dipper has been operating at Battersea ever since the park opened in 1951, and a spokesman said Tuesday's accident was the first serious one that had ever happened on the ride.
SYNOPSIS: Rescue workers surrounded the giant roller coaster at London's Battersea Fun Fair on Tuesday after a crash which killed three children and injured 17. A string of cars on the roller coaster, called the Big Dipper, was nearing the top of its 60-foot climb when suddenly and without warning, it plunged backwards down the track.
The care were being winched to the top on a cable as usual before it happened. When they slid down, they jumped the rails at the bottom, and smashed up against the Dipper's superstructure. There's no indication of the cause, but there'll be an investigation. It's the first serious accident on the Dipper, which opened in 1951.