Theme park accident
The owners of a Diggerland have been ordered to pay almost £100,000 after a theme park accident in which 12 people were injured.
Durham Crown Court heard that the incident happened Diggerlands site at Langley Park in County Durham in April 2004, due to a catalogue of failings and a lack of "elementary precautions".
The company was fined £75,000 and has to pay £19,000 costs after the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecution.
The 17-year-old driver had only passed his test five months earlier and had not been competently trained to drive the supertrack vehicle, the court was told.
The injuries of passengers were compounded because there were inadequate seat restraints and steel used to modify the vehicle had not been padded.
After the case a HSE spokesman said: "Unsuspecting parents and children came along that day for fun adventure and enjoyment. What they got in actuality was a death-defying disaster."
Theme park accident prompts safety improvements
Riggsed Ltd, which owns Diggerland theme park, said it regretted the accident and had co-operated with the Health and Safety Executive in improving its operations.
At the time of the accident the all-terrain articulated vehicle was taking 18 passengers on a tour of the site when it slipped down a bank, landing on its side in the water.
12 passengers sustained injuries and were taken to hospital after the vehicle landed in the River Browney.
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