Fairgrounds can be dangerous places at the best of times, but this carnival in Samut Prakan showed exactly why rides in Thailand aren’t such a good idea.
Dozens of people were crammed onboard the spinning octopus ride on Sunday night when the hydraulics suddenly snapped. The tentacles came crashing to the floor.
Fifteen passengers were rushed to hospital for injuries including broken ankles, noses, cuts and bruises. It’s lucky nobody was killed.
One of the passengers, Premnao Atcharakorn, 21, captured the moment the ride broke as she was recording herself at the time.
Premnao said: ”There was a normal atmosphere, everybody was happy. Just a few seconds later the fairground ride suddenly dropped to the ground and there was a loud banging sound. My head was thrown back.
”I’ve never had anything like this happen to me before. It was terrifying. I’m still in shock. It was the scariest accident that has ever happened in my life.’’
Police Lieutenant Colonel Sohpon Poonutrong from the Samut Prakan district police station said there were ‘’many injured people’’ after the accident outside the region’s town hall.
He said: ‘’Several agencies arrived at the scene after receiving the emergency call at 21:40hrs. At the scene were people in panic and many casualties. People had been sitting close together on the ride.
‘’Officers and members of the public helped and 15 patients were taken to Samut Prakan hospital. They were in pain and symptoms included cuts, bruises and one ankle fracture.
‘’From initial inspection the hydraulic cylinder which makes the tentacles go up and down had broken. Two joints and the squid’s head were damaged by the incident.’’
The ride’s owner Jaynjiraa Kongwan, 51, told police the machine had been imported from China and that insurance would cover the medical costs of the victims.
She said that a team of engineers and technicians had inspected the ride before it had been installed.
Samut Prakan governor Chatchai Uthaiphan said he had ordered civil servants to inspect the ride.
He said: ‘’From the preliminary inspection it is probably caused by the baskets being overweight and too heavy for the hydraulic cylinder. This caused it to fall to the ground and as a result, people were injured.
‘’The ride will terminate immediately and an investigation will take place into the machine and the owners, who could be charged with negligence.”