Roller coaster plunge boy in critical condition – police

A seven-year-old boy who fell from a roller coaster is in a critical condition in hospital, police have said.

The youngster was taken to Leeds General Infirmary with head injuries following an incident at the Lightwater Valley theme park, near Ripon, North Yorkshire, on Thursday.

Witnesses said the boy plunged up to 15ft from the Twister ride at the attraction, with one saying they heard loud screams before seeing a child on the ground.

On Friday, North Yorkshire Police said in statement: "The boy was taken to Leeds General Infirmary with head injuries following the incident where he currently remains. However, his condition is now described as critical."

The force clarified that the boy, who has not been named, is seven years old and not six, as previously stated.

The boy's condition has deteriorated after officers said on Thursday that his injuries were not thought to be life threatening.

In a statement, Lightwater Valley said: "We have been informed by North Yorkshire Police that the medical condition of the child involved in the incident at the park yesterday has deteriorated overnight and he is now in a critical condition.

"We are devastated by this news and our thoughts are with the family.

Incident at Lightwater Valley theme park
Screengrab of footage of an air ambulance helicopter near Lightwater Valley theme park (@RowlandBird/PA)

Further to the incident on one of our rides today, the Health and Safety Executive personnel are now on-site and we are assisting as required. We take the safety of our visitors very seriously and are committed to providing support to the affected family. https://t.co/Hnn7hFdWZEpic.twitter.com/d8MyxymUTN

— Lightwater Valley (@LightwaterV) May 30, 2019

The park bills itself as the "ultimate family adventure" on its website.The Twister is described as a "spinning roller coaster" which "gives an awesome, fun-packed experience for all the family".

"The track is full of seriously tight turns, giving riders the impression that they might not make it around the next corner, with the threat of plummeting into the treetops being a constant source of tension for parents (and amusement for the kids)!" the LightwaterValley websites says.

Riders must be taller than 4ft 11in (1.5m) unaccompanied or more than 4ft (1.2m) if accompanied by an adult, it adds.

Durham University student Gemma Savage died when two cars collided on the park's Treetop Twister ride in 2001.

Paris-based Reverchon Industries SA, which manufactured and supplied the ride, was found guilty at Leeds Crown Court of two charges of failing to ensure its safe design and construction, and failing to give information necessary to ensure the ride was safe when open to the public.

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