Daytrippers tell of terror as Longleat mini train tips over

Onlookers rush to help as the Longleat train topples over. Three people were hurt, one seriously, in Wednesday’s accident     Photo by Lisa Mowe

Onlookers rush to help as the Longleat train topples over. Three people were hurt, one seriously, in Wednesday’s accident Photo by Lisa Mowe

First published in Latest News
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Daytrippers have told of their terror when a mini train at Longleat Adventure park tipped over, trapping people underneath.

More than 150 people were riding on the train when two rear carriages toppled over at 3.45pm on Wednesday.

Firefighters from Westbury and Warminster rushed to the park but by the time they had arrived dozens on onlookers had lifted the carraiges to free the people trapped underneath.

One woman was left with a broken leg and was taken by air ambulance to the Royal United Hospital in Bath. Four more visitors were treated by Longleat first aiders and paramedics before being taken away by ambulance.

Justin Streams, from Swanage, in Dorset, was staying nearby and visiting the park with his wife Sarah and their three children, aged between three and 11.

He said: “We were coming back through the area walking towards the level-crossing, we’d previously been on the train about 30 minutes earlier, before we heard a crash. I knew straight away that the train had come off its tracks.

“We saw through the hedges that the train had gone over and a bunch of dads rushed over to help out along with staff.

“They were all trying to lift it and get people free. Then I jumped inside the carriage to see who was injured. There was a lady with her little boy who seemed to be the worst injured. I got her little boy out and proceed to help to get the woman out.

“I understand the woman went off to hospital and is doing well. It might not have been the right thing to do, moving injured people before the emergency services arrived, but it was a natural reaction.

“It was a joint venture by everyone and we all did what we could.

“Seeing children stuck underneath a train was quite a harrowing experience and put a dampener on our trip and we came home after the incident. We were supposed to stay until Thursday evening.

“I’m pleased to have helped and I did what anyone would have.”

Lisa Mowe, of Coventry, who was riding with her 15-year-old son Hadley and his friend Jason Thomas, told the BBC it was a horrible experience. She said: “People on the train were helping others to safety.”

Her son Hadley added: “It was quite scary as people were very distressed.

“Jason and I helped get people out of the carriages by pushing up the train which had fallen off the rails.”

Margaret Ford, from south Wales, who was riding the train with her family at the time of the incident, said: "We were coming back into the station when the crash happened. I'd taken my shoes off and was just putting them back on when we were chucked to the side.

"The train partially came off the track and our carriage was left dangling. My legs have got a few bruises but thankfully we didn't suffer any major injuries. We were all in a bit of a daze after it happened and my 12-year-old niece was upset.

"We managed to get ourselves out. It was good to see so many people there helping get others out."

Inspector Alan Webb said: “There is no indication to what has caused it but I’m sure as the Health and Safety Executive continue to investigate the matter they will reach a conclusion.”

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