Minister inspects closed Disney ride

PUBLISHED : Monday, 17 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 17 September, 2007, 12:00am

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Frederick Ma Si-hang visited Hong Kong Disneyland yesterday to inspect the Autopia ride, which was ordered to close after one of its cars derailed and damaged a kerb on Saturday.

Mr Ma, who had just returned to Hong Kong from Hunan , went to the theme park directly from the airport, a government spokeswoman said.

He visited the Autopia to gain a better understanding of the operation of the thrill ride and chatted with visitors who were queuing for rides during his half-hour visit.

The Autopia has three tracks between 400 metres and 750 metres long. Service on two of the tracks resumed yesterday after another inspection by the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department to make sure the ride was safe.

But the longest track - where the incident happened - remained closed yesterday.

The department confirmed that it had completed its investigation of the accident.

'We contacted the theme park visitor involved in the accident and learned that she did not hold the steering wheel during the ride,' the department said.

Autopia, which opened last summer, lets riders control their vehicles, which run at about 10km/h.

A spokesman for the theme park said follow-up action was taken on the track on which the accident occurred.

'The Electrical and Mechanical Services Department carried out tests on the Autopia to make sure the system operates well,' the theme park said.

In Saturday's accident, one of the cars was negotiating a bend at about 2pm when it derailed and damaged a kerb.

The Electrical and Mechanical Services Department decided to close the ride for inspection after the accident.

No one was injured.