Boy, 6, airlifted to hospital after 'falling off rollercoaster' at UK theme park – on same ride that killed girl 18 years ago
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Boy, 6, airlifted to hospital after 'falling off rollercoaster' at UK theme park – on same ride that killed girl 18 years ago

A YOUNG BOY has been airlifted to hospital after reportedly falling up to 30ft from a theme park ride in the UK.

The child, aged 6, is believed to have plunged from the very top of the Twister rollercoaster at Lightwater Valley Theme Park in North Stainley, North Yorkshire shortly before noon on Thursday.

Yorkshire Air Ambulance said he was taken to Leeds General Infirmary but his condition was not thought to be life-threatening.

Lightwater Valley confirmed they had closed the Twister ride following the incident but the rest of the park remained open.

North Yorkshire Police said its officers were called to reports of a "medical incident" at 11:30am and the boy was conscious when they arrived.

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Simon Moran, a father visiting the theme park today, tweeted: "Just saw a kid fall off the Twister rollercoaster at Lightwater Valley. Ride shut down. Ambulance called".

Mr Moran, a photographer who works as a senior manager in content development for Getty Images, added: "He mustn't have been strapped in right, or too small for ride.

"As it went down the fast bit towards the 'souvenir' camera, he slid out and over top of carriage. Fell face down about 20 to 30 feet to ground."

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Another visitor to the park, Emma Rowland, tweeted: "Not what I expected to see at Lightwater Valley. Child fell from a ride apparently and we’d just been on it an hour before 😱 hope he's ok."

Lightwater Valley's website states that passengers must be more than 1.5m (4ft 11in) in height to ride Twister unaccompanied, or over 1.2m (3ft 11in) tall if with an adult.

The attraction itself is described as a "spinning roller coaster... with passengers boarding a strange waltzer-shaped ride car and heading on an epic ascent to the treetops".

In a statement, a Lightwater Valley spokesperson said: "We can confirm that following an incident on one of our rides this morning, a child is receiving treatment at a local hospital.

"Emergency services have confirmed the child was conscious when they arrived at the scene and his condition is not believed to be life-threatening.

"The ride remains closed at the current time but the rest of the park is still open."

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It comes 18 years after 20-year-old student Gemma Savage died on the same rollercoaster when two of its cars collided.

Ms Savage, from Wath-upon-Dearne in South Yorkshire, had been enjoying a day out with friends from Durham University – where she was studying medical sciences – when the accident occurred in June 2001.

The theme park's owner, the French manufacturers of the ride and an electrician were all later fined for health and safety breaches after an inquest heard Twister had not been wired up properly.

Further dangerous incidents have occurred at Lightwater Valley in recent years – in 2015, a teenage theme park worker was forced to cling on for her life after a colleague activated a ride she was cleaning as a joke.

And in 2016, a carer saved a man with learning difficulties from falling 85ft off the Black Pearl pirate ship ride after a safety bar on his seat appeared to open when the ship tipped at its highest point.

The theme park originally opened in 1969 and bills itself as the "ultimate family adventure" in northern England.

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"With over 35 rides and attractions for thrill seekers of all ages, Lightwater Valley is bursting with young, family fun and thrill adventures for the whole family," its website reads.