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China: Around The Nation

Beijing theme park visitors left dangling as Ferris wheel stops spinning

People spend 30 minutes in mid-air after power failure causes months-old ride to malfunction

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 September, 2017, 2:50pm
UPDATED : Friday, 01 September, 2017, 2:50pm

Visitors to a Beijing amusement park got a longer ride than expected on Tuesday, when the Ferris wheel they were on broke down, local media reported.

Dozens of people were left dangling in mid-air for about 30 minutes when the 100m-tall Dream Star ride gave up the ghost, Beijing Morning Post reported on Wednesday.

An employee was quoted as saying that the fault was caused by a power failure, which likely tripped the ride’s automatic shut-off mechanism, adding that the incident led to staff implementing the park’s emergency procedure for the very first time.

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Everyone on the ride was safely evacuated, the report said, though it did not say how.

A visitor who witnessed the incident was quoted by Beijing Business Today as saying there were a lot of people on the wheel at the time and that they were making a “commotion”.

“The Ferris wheel started shaking very strongly, maybe this is what caused it to stop,” the person said.

People queuing for the ride were told it would be out of action for an indefinite period and were given refunds, Beijing Morning Post quoted another visitor as saying.

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The Shijingshan theme park in the west of Beijing has been open since 1986, though the faulty Ferris wheel had been on site for less than six months, having replaced an older model. A park representative said it would contact the manufacturer to find out exactly what had caused the problem.

A social media user expressed dismay at the ride’s failure so soon after opening.

“The old Ferris wheel worked fine for 30 years,” the person said. “But the new one stopped working in under a year!”

Another wrote: “In future I’ll be too scared to ride on roller coasters because I’ve read so many stories like this!”