Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Ride accident inquiry team finds braking system faults

INVESTIGATORS said yesterday that they had found 'deficiencies' in the world's tallest roller coaster after the crash that injured 26 people.

But Blackpool Pleasure Beach said the exact cause of a computer error that led to the accident on the 'Pepsi Max Big One' earlier this month had not been traced.

The 235ft-high white-knuckle ride, officially opened only a week before the accident, will remain closed under a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prohibition notice while investigations continue.

The HSE said the notice had been served on the Pleasure Beach 'requiring it to address deficiencies in the ride's braking and control systems'.

The accident happened when a train travelling at 35mph was not halted by a computer-controlled brake and ploughed into the back of another near the end of the ride.

Helen O'Neill, Pleasure Beach spokeswoman, said the notice was issued when the ride was formally handed back into the company's control by the HSE, allowing the firm's own staff to begin tests.

'We are now allowed to start implementing their recommendations. We are still no nearer a conclusion regarding the computer,' she said. 'From the time of the accident on 7 July we knew that there was a deficiency in that the computer only did 95 per cent of its job. The HSE have made recommendations they think will help us identify the problem.'

The notice forbids the carrying of passengers on the pounds 12m ride until the faults have been remedied.