A BOY has told of the nightmare moment a fairground ride he was on fell apart and hit another youngster yesterday.
Milo Macpherson, 12, was on the Air Race ride on Brighton Palace Pier when the bottom section of his pod flew off and smashed into a teenager who was standing on the pier at about 3pm.
Milo, from Hove, said: “I was so scared and shaking because the ride was going at full speed for another 45 seconds after it happened.
“My legs were dangling off the ride – I was so nervous.
“I didn’t know if anything else was going to fall off.”
The terrified youngster described the moment the ride began to fall apart.
He said: “Half-way through we heard a rattle and then a boom.
“Then it happened again.
“Then on the third time the bottom flew off and skidded along the ground and went over the fence.
“My friend said she saw it hit the boy on the pier.”
Police, firefighters and paramedics arrived at the scene shortly afterwards.
A teenage boy was taken to hospital on a stretcher with a leg injury
Milo said: “I feel like anything could have happened.
“The bit that flew off was so big, I could have been killed.
“The guy who was running the ride undid us. They had to use a spanner to get us out.”
A number of other children were on the four-year-old ride at the end of the pier at the time of the accident.
The ride spins vertically and horizontally and each seat has a section designed to look like an aeroplane underneath.
One of these aeroplanes came loose and fell off as the ride was in action.
Milo’s father, Toby Macpherson, said he “couldn’t believe what was happening” when he received a phone call at work telling him his son had been involved in an accident.
He said: “It was horrendous.
“When I got there I saw all the cars lined up at the bottom of the pier and the boy being wheeled off.
“My son was with a few friends. Some were on the ride and some were watching.
“He is very shocked and wobbly but we’ve got him home.
“It’s amazing that this has happened in Brighton. The plane goes horizontal and vertical, so what if the bit fell off while it was at the top?
“He never wants to go on their pier again.”
Anne Ackord, chief executive of Brighton Pier Group, said nothing like it had ever happened before.
She said: “This is very rare for something to be unexplained.
“The operator did the right thing by pressing the emergency button as part of our well rehearsed crisis plan.
“We have spoken with the manufacturer who will be flying in from Italy for an investigation.
“I’m glad to see there seem to be no serious injuries”.
Ms Ackord said the ride had stopped after 20 seconds, “as designed”.
A passer-by said: “A boy who looked in his mid-teens was being taken off the pier on a stretcher.
“He was wincing and the ambulance crews with him gave him a pump to take breaths from.”
Roger Thorne, 73, and his wife Anne, 78, saw emergency services rush to the ride after the boy was injured.
He said: “We saw kids on the ride just half an hour before it happened.
“It flips upside down with a lot of momentum.
“When we were walking back to the pier we saw paramedics with a stretcher running up the pier.”
Mrs Thorne added: “Another paramedic was on a quad bike.
“She grabbed a bag and ran over to behind the railings.”
South East Coast Ambulance Service said: “We responded to an incident on Brighton Pier today in which it was reported, at approximately 3pm, that a piece of a ride had come loose.
“A male teenager has been taken to hospital with a leg injury.
“Others were shaken but uninjured.”
Police initially said they believed four people had been hurt, but the ambulance later confirmed that only one person had been taken to hospital.
The pier remained open while emergency services dealt with the incident.
It is not yet known what caused the ride to fall apart.
Were you on the ride? Get in contact on 01273 021384 or [email protected]