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21 in hospital after Pleasure Beach accident

Twenty-one people, included a seven-year-old child, were taken to hospital after an accident involving a ride at Blackpool's Pleasure Beach.

Were you on board the Big Dipper last night when it crashed or see the drama unfold? Call our reporter Jenny Simpson on (01772) 838166.

Many were treated at the scene by paramedics, with some suffering suspected broken bones and neck injuries in the incident on the Big Dipper on Tuesday evening.

A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said they had received a call at 7.54pm reporting that two cars had crashed into each other, with one person still trapped more than an hour later. Two people had to be stretchered off the ride.

The two cars were around 20ft off the ground when the accident happened.

Crews from Blackpool and South Shore used an aerial ladder platform to rescue the trapped fairgoers.

A spokesman for Lancashire police said: "All the wounded are now in hospital and the ride's been stopped.

"The scene will now be preserved until morning for the Health and Safety Executive and engineers to do inspections to find out what happened.

"Two of the cars have collided at some speed."

None of the casualties suffered life-threatening injuries and they were taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

A spokesperson for Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "Staff in the A&E department coped extremely well with the incident.

"A large number of day staff, including doctors and nurses, stayed on to help deal with this incident and maintain normal A&E activity."

Of the 21 people who were taken to hospital, 20 were treated and later discharged, while a 25-year-old man was admitted with facial injuries which is likely to require surgery.

One person is believed to have suffered a minor arm fracture and will be treated at a fracture clinic.

The majority of those who attended were treated for neck and back pain with minor bruises to legs, arms and chest.

A spokesman for Blackpool Pleasure Beach said: "Investigations are under way to establish the cause of an incident which occurred on the Big Dipper at approximately 7.50pm.

"Emergency services attended the incident. There were 32 riders in total. The emergency services treated 13 passengers at the scene.

"Pleasure Beach, Blackpool is cooperating fully with the emergency services and the Health and Safety Executive.

"A further statement will be issued as information becomes available."

Emergency services had left the scene by 10.30pm.

The Big Dipper is a wooden rollercoaster which was built in 1921 and has a maximum speed of 35mph.

* Were you on the ride, do you know anybody who was on it at the time of the accident or did you see it happen? Please contact our newsdesk by ringing 01772 838103 or on email at lep.newsdesk@lep.co.uk

Have you got any pictures of the accident or the aftermath? Please email the picture desk on lep.picturedesk@lep.co.uk or to send a picture from your mobile phone, type in LEPDESK (space), any details required and attach a photograph via MMS to 07786 200 055.

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