Wiltshire

Film emerges of 2011 Longleat train derailment

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Media captionLongleat's miniature train previously derailed three years ago

Longleat's miniature train, which derailed on Wednesday injuring several people, previously derailed in 2011, the BBC has learned.

A woman was airlifted from the Wiltshire adventure park with a broken leg following the most recent incident.

Managers at the park said the railway would remain closed while an investigation was carried out.

Longleat said "operator error" caused the 2011 incident, which was filmed by visitor Peter Hook.

Mr Hook, from Downend in Bristol, said he and his family were riding on the Jungle Express train on 30 September 2011 when the track points were switched as the train crossed them, causing a derailment.

'Terrifying' moment

In footage he captured on his video camera, three carriages are shown tipping to the right-hand side, causing children to scream.

Mr Hook described the moment as "terrifying" but said: "Fortunately, the train fell against a post which stopped it going right over."

In a statement, Longleat said there were no injuries reported on the day and the emergency services were not required.

However, Mr Hook said he felt Longleat staff were "totally dismissive" in the immediate aftermath and "offered no explanation".

He wrote a letter of complaint to the park, and in its response to him, Longleat apologised but claimed the train had "been running safely and successfully without incident" for many years and received regular testing and safety checks.

Image copyright Lisa Mowe
Image caption Six people were injured when the ride overturned on Wednesday

It said service and safety for visitors was its "highest priority" and offered Mr Hook free tickets for his next visit.

A Longleat spokesman told the BBC that following the 2011 incident, the park installed a new system which "confirms the correct positioning of points to the signalman" to prevent it happening again.

He said "early indications" show this system was working correctly at the time of the derailment which took place on Wednesday.

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