Scotland’s largest theme park fined £65,000 for health and safety breaches

The operators of Scotland’s largest theme park have been fined £65,000 for health and safety breaches in the wake of a rollercoaster crash which left nine people injured, including seven children.

The Tsunami rollercoaster was later removed from the theme park

Five gondolas from the Tsunami ride at M&Ds derailed and fell 30 feet to the ground in June 2016.

The inverted rollercoaster was travelling at speeds of 40mph when it went off the track at a bend.

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Among those who were injured were a 12-year-old boy with chest, abdominal and leg injuries and an 11-year-old boy who had serious arm and hand injuries.

The theme park in Motherwell, North Lanarkshire, was shut for investigations but a partial reopening was approved just four days after the accident.

It fully reopened to the public just over three weeks later, although the Tsunami ride - one of the park’s biggest attractions - never operated again, and was taken out of commission in February 2017.

It later emerged that an inspector who passed the ride as safe 16 days before the accident had been subsequently banned.

M&D’s went on to received a £1.4m insurance payout for the closure of the Strathclyde Park site.

Yesterday, the operators of the park pleaded guilty to charges relating to the Health and Safety at Work Act at Hamilton Sheriff Court.

David Nellaney, a partner at the Glasgow office of solicitors, Digby Brown, said: “The prosecution of M&Ds Leisure Ltd will be welcomed by the victims and their families following the devastating and life-long impacts it has had on them.

“Additionally, I would hope this sparks an improvement process across the sector that ensures an incident like this does not happen again.

“We represent a significant number of M&Ds victims who are involved in ongoing civil actions so while we acknowledge the prosecution it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

Last year, the father of a 14-year-old who was involved in the crash recalled his shock at calling his son to arrange to pick him up, only for the phone to be answered by a nurse on the scene. “It was just a day out at a theme park and that’s the way he ended up,” he said.