Center Parcs: council investigates after three injured as raft flips over

the Guardian wrote:

Man and two children hurt in incident in August on ride at site in Longleat, Wiltshire

Center Parcs: council investigates after three injured as raft flips over - The Reports

A ride at Center Parcs in Longleat. The man involved in the incident sustained suspected broken ribs.
Photograph: E Westmacott/Alamy

An investigation is taking place after a raft on a Center Parcs ride flipped over, injuring a man and two children.

The holiday company apologised after the man and his nephew, 12, and niece, 13, were hurt on the Tropical Cyclone ride at a site in Longleat, Wiltshire, on 19 August.

The man was taken to hospital with suspected broken ribs, while the children sustained minor head injuries.

The BBC said there had been 23 reports of rafts overturning on the Tropical Cyclone in the past six months, across the four Center Parcs villages that have the ride.

A Center Parcs spokesperson said they were sorry for the “obvious upset this incident will have caused to both the guest and their family”. They said they had immediately closed the ride following the incident and conducted safety checks, which found no issues.

Wiltshire council said its public protection team was investigating the incident. “We are working closely with Center Parcs, and other partners, to determine the best practice moving forward,” said a spokesperson.

Speaking to the BBC, the man involved in the incident said: “We went into thin air and that’s why we flipped. The thing that I really remember was the cracking sound of my ribs hitting the side of the flume.”

He said his niece had an “impressive bump just above her right eye, bruising along the right side of her chin”. She had a headache for about a week, said the man, while his nephew had a headache for the rest of the day.

Center Parcs’ website describes the ride as “a two- or three-person raft ride with 142 metres of twists, turns and gravity-defying drops and added audio-visual themes to choose from”.

A spokesperson for the company said they were confident staff correctly loaded the raft. “We would like to offer reassurance that we take the safety of our guests and employees extremely seriously,” they said.

“Hundreds of thousands of guests use our Tropical Cyclone ride every year and incidents of this nature are extremely rare. We conduct rigorous health and safety checks on a daily basis to ensure our facilities are as safe as possible.”

In March last year, the company was fined £250,000 for health and safety breaches after a child broke her wrist falling from a tree during a climbing activity.

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