Winter Wonderland's Slingshot ride is CLOSED

Winter Wonderland's Slingshot ride is CLOSED

December 15, 2022

Winter Wonderland’s Slingshot ride is CLOSED after two passengers were trapped in ride when it snapped and smashed into support beam

  • Today the ride was seen without its seating pod, which has been removed
  • Slingshot ride at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, London crashed last night 
  • Riders were inside the seating pod as a technical issue caused the release of one of the elastic cords and steel wire ropes supporting the gondola 
  • Do you know the riders in the slingshot? Email [email protected] 

Winter Wonderland’s slingshot ride was closed today after two passengers were trapped in the ride when it snapped off its housing and smashed into a support beam.

Last night the seating pod on the fairground ride at the popular London Christmas attraction crashed into the support beam and left two people, both believed to be male, stuck inside.

The ride typically uses elastic-propelled cords to launch the pod straight up into the air as if propelled by a slingshot. 

But a video on social media showed The Snowball ride went badly wrong last night when a technical issue caused the release of one of the elastic cords and steel wire ropes.

The remaining band recoiled to the side and sent the pod hurtling into one of the ride’s support beams, leaving the riders suspended in mid-air. 

On Thursday, the ride was pictured with the seating pod removed, with the slingshot ‘closed while a further investigation takes place’, a spokesperson for the Hyde Park event said.

The seating pod on the fairground ride has been removed after it crashed into a support beam on Wednesday night

Two people who were in the seating pod were suspended in the air on Wednesday night

The seating pod on the fairground ride at the popular London Christmas attraction crashed into the support beam with riders still inside last night

Security cleared the area as the seating pod could be seen hanging to one side of the ride

For some visitors today, hearing news of ‘high speed thrill ride’ The Snowball malfunctioning affirmed their pre-existing fear of rides – and they added they wouldn’t be going on them anyway.

A group of three young women did not want to be named had not heard about the ride crash, but said they were already put off going on rides because they saw a member of staff pushing a roller coaster cart along the tracks today.

One of them said: ‘We saw someone walking on the tracks of the roller coaster, it was a member of staff and I think the cab got stuck.

‘And then we saw him climbing up there and we thought, nah, we’re not going on that.

‘They were going along in the cart then it stopped, so the member of staff got on the tracks and pushed it back along again. That was about 11am.

‘You know what, I would be more cautious about going on anything here because it’s transportable, I feel it’s better if it’s actually in the ground and been there for a while.

‘I’d be a bit more wary.’

The ride pictured on Thursday, December 15, after it malfunctioned the night before

The ride is not open to customers visiting Winter Wonderland on Thursday 

The ride in Winter Wonderland was closed on Thursday after an issue with its release system

The rules of riding bear a warning for passengers that they must not be ‘of a timid nature’

A second member of the group agreed, and added: ‘I can’t trust this stuff, because how do they transport it, how do they build it? How does it stay steady?’

Another said finding out about the slingshot’s malfunction yesterday meant she wouldn’t go on more rides.

‘I wouldn’t go on a ride now that I know that, not now knowing what we know,’ she said.

‘We did go on the ferris wheel though.’

Couple Sam and Tony Wears — a nurse and a consultant — had just come off one of the rides when they said they had heard the news of the ride crash, but weren’t scared.

Mr Wears said: ‘We saw the news last night but it’s not put us off enough to not go on the rides.

‘I think it takes mental strength to get on the rides anyway, we were a bit wary of it though. But we had a good time, I think this is the only ride for us though — to the Bavarian Village now.’

Tony and Jess Singer — both bankers — said they heard the news but wouldn’t be caught on any rides anyway.

Ms Singer, 29, said she thought it was a joke when she heard the news, and definitely wouldn’t go on a ride like that now.

She said: ‘I thought it was a joke, I thought “Is that real?”

‘I mean we wouldn’t go on rides like that anyway, but even more so now — you would not get me on anything like that anyway.

‘We were reading about the accident on the train up here, and I said you 100 per cent won’t be catching me on any of those now.

A sign advises people of the requirements and warnings associated with the slingshot ride

Mr Singer, 31, said: ‘You’re not going to catch us on any rides, I wouldn’t go on something like that.

‘It does feel different to other years, not necessarily because of the stabbing or the crash, it’s just a lot more expensive this year.

‘It feels a bit different at eight o’clock at night.’

Leah Rogers, a 21-year-old actor and Winter Wonderland regular, said the fairground is quieter than previous years.

She said: ‘My birthday is December so Winter Wonderland is like my favourite place, it’s where I like to spend my birthday.

‘It feels quieter today, this is the quietest I’ve ever seen it. It’s never been this quiet, it’s busier in the darkness.’

Sarah, in marketing, had read the news, but said: ‘I think we would just avoid going on that ride, I wouldn’t be coming for those anyway — I would be coming for the social.’

Ali Hussain, 29, works in admin and said the malfunction was just another reason he wouldn’t go on rides.

‘I saw that news about that slingshot, I don’t really go on rides to be fair,’ he said.

‘I saw that yesterday, and I thought, nah, that’s just another reason I wouldn’t go on a ride.

‘It’s been snowing and that, so I thought it might be something to do with the snow.

‘You come here once a year, there’s not really anything that puts me off it — if I was something that actually got on rides then it would probably affect me differently.’

The ride went badly wrong last night when a technical issue caused the release of one of the elastic cords and steel wire ropes

Parkgoers have expressed relief they didn’t go on ride, after the footage was seen online.

One person said: ‘My husband was begging me to get on the slingshot ride in Winter Wonderland, I’m sooo glad I didn’t.’

Another added: ‘This is why I don’t put my kids on these things. The risk do not outweigh the reward!’

‘You will NEVER catch me on one of these,’ another viewer said. 

Others said that the two people were ‘lucky’, with one adding: Imagine if snapped full stretched out’.

‘Could have easily snapped their necks’, another commenter said.      

One man who watched the footage said he thinks the site ‘should be closed down’. 

Shocked revellers looked on as the ride crashed yesterday and some gasped out loud as it happened.

It is understood that neither of the riders were taken to hospital, having been checked for injuries by on-site medics. 

It is not the first incident to have marred the popular attraction this winter, after a stabbing outside the entrance earlier this week. 

A video on social media shows two people seated in the spherical metal pod as an electrical mechanism mechanism tightens up the cords which launch it into to air like a slingshot

A member of staff stops patrons Winter Wonderland from getting to the slingshot ride after the incident

Another video shows staff at Winter Wonderland blocking access to the ride just after the crash.

It also shows fire engines from the London Fire Brigade attending the incident on blue lights.

The London Fire Brigade said on Twitter: ‘Firefighters were called to Winter Wonderland last night as two people were trapped inside a bungee carriage. 

‘They were freed by on-site staff and there was no action required by the Brigade.’

A Hyde Park Winter Wonderland Spokesperson said: ‘We can confirm that a technical issue involving the reverse bungee occurred on Wednesday evening. 

‘Both riders were safely escorted off the ride, checked by our on-site medics and were not injured.

‘Safety is our highest priority and the ride is closed while further investigation takes place. 

‘All of our rides undergo rigorous and regular safety checks by experienced members of staff trained in health and safety. We also provide regular training for all staff to ensure our visitors can enjoy a fun and safe experience.

‘All other attractions at Winter Wonderland are operating as normal.’

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