A six-year-old boy has been airlifted to hospital after an incident on a rollercoaster at a theme park today.
Witnesses at Lightwater Valley in North Yorkshire claim he fell from the Twister ride on a 'fast part' near the camera used for souvenir pictures of riders.
The boy, who was enjoying half term at the theme park, is said to have fallen face down about 20-30ft at around 11.30am.
He was flown by air ambulance to Leeds General Infirmary although his condition has been described as non-life threatening.
Pictures from the scene show emergency services and rescue workers near the ride.
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Visitor Mark Charnley, of Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, said he saw the little boy hanging out of the back of the moving ride as his mum screamed hysterically beside him.
"We saw the little lad hanging out of the back of his carriage, his head was well behind the back of it and he was out of his restraints," the worried dad said.
“He was in the carriage with his mum, who was screaming hysterically.
“Everyone in the queue was shouting for the ride operator to stop the ride for about 10 to 15 seconds but they didn’t seem to have noticed," Mr Charnley continued.
“Then the boy must have fallen about 15 ft.
“We jumped over the barrier to try and help and one man identified himself as an off duty police officer and he sort of took over.”
Witness Simon Moran said on Twitter: "Just saw a kid fall off the Twister rollercoaster.
"As it went down the fast bit towards the ‘souvenir’ camera he slide out and over top of carriage. Fell face down about 20/30 feet to ground."
Another witness said: "Air ambulance arriving at Lightwater Valley Theme Park. Awful accident on the Twister ride this morning.
"We'd just joined the Q when it happened. Hope the kid involved is gonna be okay."
Lara-Susan James, who had just joined the queue for the rollercoaster with her children, said a group were shouting at the operator to stop the ride.
She said: "It was at that moment I realised something was wrong.
"I saw the operator apply the emergency stop.
"My husband pointed to the fallen kid on the ground, saying they had fallen out.
"When the ride stopped, the family jumped the barriers and went to the kid.
"I ushered our kids away as I don't want them to hear or see any more."
Park visitor Louise Hall, who was there with her two daughters, said:”We were near the Eagles Claw ride and saw the air ambulance circling and then landing.
“The staff said a little lad had fallen off the Twister ride and hurt himself.”
North Yorkshire Police said in a statement: "Police were called to reports of a medical incident involving a child at Lightwater Valley theme park near Ripon at 11.30am today.
"The child, a 6-year-old boy, who was conscious when officers arrived at the scene, has been taken to hospital. His condition is not believed to be life threatening.
"The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been notified.
"Officers remain at the scene."
A spokeswoman for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance said: "I can confirm that we attended and transported a child to Leeds General Infirmary".
Lightwater Valley theme park is located in Ripon, North Yorkshire and boasts "35 family rides, including the longest rollercoaster in Europe", according to its Twitter page.
In 2001, student Gemma Savage, 20, died when two cars collided on the same ride, then known as the Treetop Twister.
Park owners and ride manufacturers were fined £155,000 after it was discovered wiring was faulty.
And in 2015, teenager Sasha Higgins was carrying out a routine seatbelt check on the Twister ride at Lightwater Valley theme park when it suddenly started up.
The terrified youngster screamed for help as she was spun around in the waltzer style carriage, only to hear her fellow ride operator – who had turned the ride on for a joke – laugh at her.
In 2017, the park was fined £40,000 after a five-year-old girl was injured when her leg became trapped while riding The Ladybird rollercoaster.
Lucy Hibbert visited the park in June 2012 when her right leg and foot came out of th carriage as the ride returned to its starting point.
The Lightwater Valley website says passengers must be over 1.5m to ride unaccompanied or over 1.2m if accompanied by an adult.
The website describes the Twister as: "An awesome, fun-packed experience for all the family, with passengers boarding a strange waltzer-shaped ride car and heading on an epic ascent to the treetops!
"Giving riders the impression that they might not make it around the next corner, with the threat of plummeting into the treetops being a constant source of tension for parents (and amusement for the kids).
"With serious amounts of anticipation, tight turns and swift drops, watch out for the ride cars unhooking on the lower level as the spinning steps up a gear."
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