2 Dead, Dozens Injured After Flying Amusement Park Ride Splits Mid-Air in India

Char Adams

Two people are dead and nearly 30 people were hospitalized in India on Sunday after a swinging amusement park ride broke in the air and crashed to the ground, reports say.

Tragedy struck around 540 p.m. (local time) at Kankaria Theme Park in Ahmedabad when the pendulum ride split in half while flying through the air, the Times of India reported. The deceased victims have been identified as Manali Rajvadi, 24, and Mohammed Zaid Momin, 22, the Times reported.

The ride, called Discovery, was about 20 feet off the ground when it snapped in half and plummeted to the ground, with a few people seated on the left of the ride crashing directly into a bar, according to the Times. Three people were critically injured, according to the newspaper.

“Twenty-nine people were brought to the hospital, out of whom two died, while 27 are being treated,” Ahmedabad Mayor Bijal Patel said, according to the Hindustan Times. “An inquiry will be conducted to ascertain as to what went wrong, and steps against those responsible for the fault will be taken soon.”

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Thirty-one people were on board when the pipe of the ride’s main shaft broke, and the Forensic Science Laboratory is investigating the cause, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation chief fire officer M.F. Dastoor told the newspaper.

An injured rider being transported to the hospital | SAM PANTHAKY/AFP/Getty

Video of the incident shared on social media showed the moments the pipe broke and parkgoers rushed to the area. At the beginning of the clip, the ride is shown moving as usual. But after about 30 seconds, the ride is shown swinging to the right, with the steel pipe that holds the riders snapping.

A loud crash was heard as the ride hit the metal bar and crashed down to its platform. Patel said in a series of tweets that the victims have been hospitalized and the accident is being investigated.

The ride is owned by father-son duo Ghanshyam Patel and Bhavesh Patel, reports the Ahmedabad Mirror. They told the outlet, “All our equipment as well as maintenance certificates, police certification, fire NOC and other documents are in order. We have had continuous inspection and clearance from the authorities for the past four years and we have submitted the same to the police.”

Ghanshyam added, “We take all possible care with rides and allow only children above 12 years of age. The ride broke but we cannot say how. There are two very strong 20-ton load-bearing ropes inside and we don’t know how they snapped. Maybe there was load on the pipe and it broke.”

The incident comes just weeks after a free-fall ride at another theme park in Indiana broke and plunged 10 feet to the ground, injuring 12 people, Fox News reported.