Full response: 'Playland has an exceptional safety record,' park says after ride malfunction
CTV News Vancouver
Published Tuesday, August 13, 2019 12:03PM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 13, 2019 12:06PM PDT
A ride at a Vancouver amusement park has been shut down after a terrifying part failure Monday afternoon.
Witnesses say they heard a "horrible metal cracking sound" and oil spilled on riders and bystanders at Playland, after the pendulum-style ride known as "the Beast" malfunctioned. No one was injured.
The amusement park has since shut down the ride indefinitely and Technical Safety BC, which regulates park rides in the province, will examine the Beast.
In response to Monday's incident, Playland issued the following statement on social media:
"Yesterday at Playland one of our rides, the Beast, had what we believe to be a parts issue resulting in a loud noise while the ride was running. Our ride operations team did exactly what they were trained to do, which was to bring (the) ride to a slow stop and the ride did what it was designed to do in coming to a gradual stop. All guests were disembarked without injury. It is important to note that in addition to all Playland ride operators being trained on safety protocols, the rides have built in safety features to ensure the ride will bring itself to a slow controlled stop in the event of a mechanical issue.
We will now work to determine the nature of the issue and will report once we have determined the specifics. It is important to note that regulations overseeing ride operations in British Columbia are some of the most progressive in the world. In Playland all of our rides are inspected annually by Technical Safety BC and external third party safety consultants. Additionally, each ride at Playland is inspected daily prior to opening. The safety of our guests is our number one priority.
With reference to the incidents in Ohio and India it is critical to be factual and point out that Playland's Beast ride is not the same model related to the incident in Ohio. However, out of an abundance of caution, we took the ride out of circulation for two days at that time to ensure a comprehensive safety inspection. It was deemed that the Beast was a very different model than the ride in Ohio. In addition, the Beast is not the same manufacturer or ride model as was the case in India.
Playland has an exceptional safety record which we are proud of. During today's ride shut down, the ride operations team maintained proper safety protocols and our Guest Experience team was made available to address questions and concerns. In regards to the oil that dripped onto some guests from above, we apologize for that and are dealing with guests on a case by case basis. The oil is not toxic and product safety and cleaning information has been supplied to guests affected.
The Beast ride was opened new in 2015 and is from industry leading ride manufacturer KMG out of Europe. As in all cases of unexpected occurrences involving a part malfunction, the parts are replaced, the ride is inspected by engineers and external safety consultants before opening again to the public. This will happen in the coming days with the Beast. We encourage any guests involved today to reach out to us directly for information."
While the safety assessments and repairs will take a “few days” at the very minimum, a representative from Playland wouldn’t speculate as to when the Beast might re-open, or if it would be in operation for the Fair at the PNE, which begins this Saturday.