Oakwood Theme Park: Rollercoaster riders heard 'horrific screams' as man fell from carriage on to tracks

NARBERTH, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 09: An aerial view of Oakwood Theme park in Pembrokeshire on April 9, 2016 in Narberth, United Kingdom. The theme park is home to rides including Megafobia, Vertigo and Speed. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
A man was airlifted to hospital after reportedly falling from a ride at Oakwood Theme Park in Wales. (Getty Images)

Riders of a rollercoaster at a UK theme park heard "horrific screams" as a man dangled from a carriage and then fell on to the tracks.

The emergency services were called to Oakwood Theme Park in Wales on Sunday after the incident on its Treetops ride.

Witnesses said a father, who had accompanied his teenage daughter on the ride, fell to the tracks. His daughter was reportedly saved from falling from the 26ft high rollercoaster by people in another carriage.

Eyewitness Sean Hayes, from London, was at the park with his wife and daughter when he heard "horrific screams" just one minute into the Treetops ride.

He said: "I shouted for the ride to stop and staff were clearly panicking to get it stopped.

"It went on for a bit before it grinded to a halt. We had to evacuate the ride on a bend and staff were present to help people off."

Mr Hayes said he went to collect his bag after getting off the ride and then saw a man lying on the ground.

"Within 20 minutes, an air ambulance arrived and I also saw a lot of police turning up," he said.

Another witness, Aaron McCalmon, 47, from Port Talbot in Wales, said he had been waiting to go on the Treetops ride with his own daughter when the incident happened.

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"I heard a big bang and saw the man hanging out with his legs stuck in the carriage," he said.

"He was trying to pull himself back in but as it was coming down, it went around and he fell out.

"He was with his teenage daughter. As he fell out the people behind had to hold his daughter to stop her from falling out."

Mr McCalmon said he had previously been turned away from the ride because it was being checked by engineers.

A statement from Oakwood said it was closed following the incident. (Google Maps)
Oakwood Theme Park closed on Sunday after a man reportedly fell from a rollercoaster. (Google)

He said: "This was our second attempt to go on the ride. The first time they were working on that carriage so said to come back.

"I did see the guy checking the bars before it went, but it still opened."

Oakwood is the largest theme park in Wales and attracts about 400,000 visitors a year.

A spokesperson for the Health and Safety Executive said it is investigating the incident and that a man was airlifted to hospital by the Wales Air Ambulance.

“We investigate health and safety law and health and safety breaches," they said.

“We need to find out what, if anything, has happened at Oakwood Theme Park, and we need to establish is there is a work-related element involved.

Thrillseekers watched in horror when they saw a man dangling from a rollercoaster at a theme park - before he crashed to the ground.

Aaron McCalmon, 47, was waiting in the queue for the Treetops ride when he saw a man fall from a carriage with his legs stuck inside.

Fellow park-goers raised the alarm as
Hayley Williams, 16, died after falling from the Hydro rollercoaster at Oakwood Theme Park in Wales in 2004. (Wales News)

“We will continue to work alongside the Dyfed-Powys Police in the investigation.”

Oakwood Theme Park said on Sunday in a statement: "As a result of an incident at Oakwood today we have closed the park to the public with immediate effect."

It isn't the first incident at the theme park.

In 2004, 16-year-old Hayley Williams, from Pontypool, fell 100ft from a different ride at Oakwood, the Hydro, and died.

The then owners of the park were fined £250,000 and ordered to pay £80,000 costs.