Pleasurewood Hills’ Fireball ordered to close after accident in US kills man and injures seven

The Fire Ball at Pleasurewood Hills has been closed after an accident in the US. Picture: ARCHANT LI

The Fire Ball at Pleasurewood Hills has been closed after an accident in the US. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY - Credit: Archant

Five rides have been closed at UK theme parks – including Pleasurewood Hills in Suffolk – after a fatal accident in the US.

The machines are all versions of the KMG Afterburner on which a man was killed and seven people injured at the Ohio state fair.

Tyler Jarrell, an 18-year-old marine, died after his seat broke off and he was flung 50 feet through the air. His girlfriend Keziah Lewis, 19, who had been sitting next to him, was told of his death while critically ill in hospital.

Following the accident on Wednesday, July 26, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out a re-inspection of the five machines in the UK, which at Pleasurewood Hills is called the Fireball.

“There are five machines of this version operating in UK and all have been thoroughly inspected within the last 12 months,” a spokesman added.

“There is no verified information regarding the immediate cause of the US accident. Following the incident, HSE initiated a re-inspection of these machines. As a result, an Enforcement Notice has been served on the machines, which are now to be taken out of use until the notices have been complied with.

“HSE will ensure operators are kept abreast of information as it arrives and will take such action as is necessary to ensure the rides are inspected and tested as necessary to ensure safety.”

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The Afterburner has a long swinging arm, which swings up to 120 degrees with a maximum height of 20 metres.

A description of the ride on Pleasurewood Hills’ website says it is “not for the faint hearted”.

A spokesman for KMG told the Times: “We are investigating the cause of the accident.

“Our deepest sympathies go out to all who were involved or affected by this tragic accident.”

Pleasurewood Hills has been invited to comment.

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