London

South Bank fairground: Nineteen rescued from Starflyer ride

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionLondon Fire Brigade's Clive Robinson explains how the 19 people were rescued

Fire crews have rescued 19 people - six of them children - who were suspended in a fairground ride 20 metres (65ft) above London's South Bank.

Some spent more than three hours trapped in the ride's cages on Sunday.

Dan Northover, who was on the ride with his young daughter, said it was "very unnerving" when the Starflyer stopped suddenly as it was descending.

London Wonderground, where the ride is based, said it was investigating whether it was a "technical fault".

Image copyright London Fire Brigade
Image caption The ride is being investigated for a 'technical fault'
Image copyright Nigel Saunders
Image caption 'Cherry picker' ladders were used to reach people who were stuck on the ride

Mr Northover, who was with his daughter Willow, said he realised something was wrong when "some guys started climbing up a ladder... and then we had an hour of them banging with hammers".

He said "there were two children in the pod behind us who were crying" and the rescue was delayed because fire crews had trouble accessing the area.

Two fire engines and two "cherry picker" ladders were sent to the scene.

Clive Robinson, from London Fire Brigade, said: "It was slow work as we needed to access each cage on the ride individually."

"While everyone was very relieved to be back on the ground, everyone had been very calm," he said.

The brigade, which had been called shortly before 18:00 GMT, said there were no injuries.

Image copyright Nigel Saunders
Image caption London Fire Brigade said it was 'slow work' to rescue everyone
Image copyright Nigel Saunders
Image caption Some people were trapped for more than three hours

The Starflyer fairground ride, part of the Southbank's Centre's London Wonderground playground, stands 60 metres (65 yards) high and has capsules that swing around a central pillar.

London Wonderground tweeted on Sunday: "This evening the Starflyer which shares our site experienced a technical fault.

"Everyone on the ride has been evacuated safely and the company who manage the ride for Southbank Centre are investigating the fault."

The Southbank Centre said it was grateful to firefighters for assisting those trapped, adding: "We will work with the owners of the ride to investigate the cause of the fault".

Image copyright London Fire Brigade
Image caption The ride will remain closed as investigations continue why the ride got stuck

The ride will remain closed while investigations continue into why the ride got stuck, the centre said.

The Starflyer ride has featured at London Wonderground in previous years and has also appeared at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park.

More on this story