Two teenage boys were left dangling in the air and had to be rescued after a bungee ride malfunctioned at London’s annual “Winter Wonderland” holiday event in Hyde Park.
London’s Metropolitan Police were called to the scene Wednesday just after 8:20 p.m. on reports of two people trapped in a bungee ride. The London Fire Brigade also responded to the incident.
Video footage shared on social media showed the moment the boys, sitting in a ball-shaped carriage suspended by two bungee cords on each side, were raised in the air when suddenly one of the cords appears to come loose and the boys were sent careening into the sky, hitting a post of the ride. The ride was meant to use both cords to slingshot the cage into the air and bounce back.
Spectators were heard gasping and exclaiming in shock as the kids flew into the air.
Metropolitan Police said by the time officers arrived the boys in the fairground ride cage had been lowered down and they had left the scene. No injuries were reported, police said.
Officials said based on a preliminary inspection there was a “technical fault with a sealed gear box that controls the release of the elastic cord and steel wire rope” and further inspections are underway.
The Health and Safety Executive has been alerted about the incident, police said.
A spokesperson for Hyde Park Winter Wonderland told the Evening Standard that “a technical issue involving the reverse bungee occurred on Wednesday evening.”
“Both riders were safely escorted off the ride, checked by our on-site medics and were not injured,” the spokesperson said.
The ride is closed pending further investigation, but all other attractions at Winter Wonderland are operating as normal, the spokesperson said, stressing, “Safety is our highest priority.”
“All of our rides undergo rigorous and regular safety checks by experienced members of staff trained in health and safety. We also provide regular training for all staff to ensure our visitors can enjoy a fun and safe experience,” Hyde Park Winter Wonderland said in a statement.