'Bounce' ride at Oakwood theme park closed after multiple people injured when it came to sudden stop

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A ride at Wales’s largest theme park, Oakwood in Pembrokeshire, has been closed after multiple people were injured when it came to a sudden stop.

The “drop tower” attraction, Bounce, "experienced a programmed emergency stop procedure" while descending on Wednesday (July 12), according to a statement from the park's owners.

In a statement, Oakwood Theme Park said: "During operation today our drop tower ride Bounce experienced a programmed emergency stop procedure in response to the ride drop height. The stoppage of the passenger gondola was attended to by our park team and the ride was lowered to the ground where guests were able to disembark.

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“A number of guests reported minor lower back pain immediately after the occurrence and were attended to by our onsite team of first aiders, where assistance was provided. One group sought additional treatment locally, whilst others continued their day at the park. We have closed Bounce whilst we consult with the ride manufacturer.”

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Originally shut down in 2016, Bounce was slated to reopen in 2019 after a £400,000 refurbishment, but the pandemic delayed its reopening until 2022. The ride is described on Oakwood's website as "a gravity-defying, stomach-lurching shot ‘n’ drop tower ride," promising a "straight up, straight down - with lots of screams in between" experience.

Oakwood previously made headlines in October 2022 when a man was sent to hospital following an incident on the Treetops rollercoaster, where he reportedly fell out of a carriage. Despite the incident, the Health and Safety Executive found no fault with the ride's equipment, and no action was taken against the park.

In a tragic incident in April 2004, 16-year-old Hayley Williams from Pontypool died after falling 100 feet from Oakwood's Hydro Ride, prompting her family to call for stricter safety regulations at theme parks.

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