Oakwood Theme Park ride closes as people injured

Passengers on a ride at Wales' largest theme park were injured after it came to a sudden halt.

Bounce, the "drop tower" attraction at Oakwood in Pembrokeshire, "experienced a programmed emergency stop procedure" whilst in mid-fall on Wednesday, a statement from park owners said.

It added a number of people reported "minor lower back pain" and had to be attended to by a team of in-house first aiders.

The ride has now been closed pending an investigation.

The statement from Oakwood Theme Park read: "During operation today our drop tower ride Bounce experienced a programmed emergency stop procedure in response to the ride drop height.

"The stoppage of the passenger gondola was attended to by our park team and the ride was lowered to the ground where guests were able to disembark.

"A number of guests reported minor lower back pain immediately after the occurrence and were attended to by our onsite team of first aiders, where assistance was provided.

"One group sought additional treatment locally, whilst others continued their day at the park.

"We have closed Bounce whilst we consult with the ride manufacturer.”

Bounce was initially shut in 2016 and was supposed to reopen in 2019 following a £400,000 refurbishment.

However, the onset of the pandemic saw its reopening delayed until 2022.

The attraction is described on Oakwood's website as "a gravity-defying, stomach-lurching shot ‘n’ drop tower ride".

"Straight up, straight down - with lots of screams in between," it added.

Oakwood also hit the headlines in October 2022 when a man had to be hospitalised following an incident on its Treetops rollercoaster.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing him fall out of a carriage to the ground, which led to the park temporarily closing.

But the Health and Safety Executive said its examiners found no fault with any of the ride's equipment and no action action was taken against the park.

And in April 2004, Hayley Williams, 16, from Pontypool, died after falling 100ft (30.48m) from Oakwood's Hydro Ride.

Her family called for tighter safety regulations at theme parks as a result of her death.