British Columbia

'The Beast' ride at Playland shut down after malfunction leaves guests covered in oil

A ride called "The Beast" at Vancouver's Playland amusement park has been temporarily shut down after a malfunction on Monday caused a loud grinding sound that scared guests and left some covered in oil.

'We're talking dripping, like they had a shower. But it was oil,' said mother whose child was on ride

A worker cleans Playland’s ride ‘The Beast’ before opening the amusement park in Vancouver, British Columbia on Tuesday, August 13, 2019. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

A ride called "The Beast" at Vancouver's Playland amusement park has been temporarily shut down after a malfunction caused a loud grinding sound that scared guests and left some covered in oil.

Irene Morrison was visiting the amusement park with her son, nephew, and a friend on Monday. She said the three 11-year-old boys were on the ride when it started to make a "horrible" sound.

"I knew instantly something was wrong, it was like a metal cracking, grinding," she said.

Morrison said that next she felt sprinkles on her arm, looked up, and realized that oil was falling from above.

"Everyone in the lineup was in a panic, jumping over the rails, everyone's running. And I'm freaking out because my child and my nephew and their friend are on the ride still."

Morrison said the ride shut off and people dismounted in a panic, covered in oil.

"We're talking dripping, like they had a shower. But it was oil," she said.

The malfunction left people on the ride and in the queue below covered in oil. (Irene Morrison)

Morrison said the incident was "traumatic" and that her son said on the ride that he thought he was going to die.

"They're fine now, but they were pretty shaken up after," she said, adding that while she wouldn't prevent her son from going on other rides, she'll be more worried in the future.

Investigation begins

The Beast, which 20 to 30 people can ride at one time, was previously temporarily shut down in 2017 after a horrific accident at Ohio State Fair killed a high school student.

The ride in Vancouver is made by the same manufacturer, but is a different model.

Laura Ballance, a spokesperson for Playland, said the ride experienced what is believed to be an issue with one of its parts.

The Beast, which 20 to 30 people can ride at one time, was previously shut down in 2017 after a horrific accident at Ohio State Fair killed a high school student. The ride in Vancouver is made by the same manufacturer, but is a different model. (PNE)

"I'm pleased to say that our ride operations team did exactly what they were trained to do, which is to bring the ride to a slow stop," she said, adding that all rides have built-in safety features that bring them to a controlled stop in the event of a mechanical issue.

Ballance said the oil dripped on guests is non-toxic and that the people affected have been sent safety and cleaning information.

Playland will now begin the process of determining what went wrong with the ride, and what parts need to be replaced.

Ballance said that all rides in the province are inspected annually by Technical Safety B.C. and by external third party safety consultants. Each ride is also inspected daily prior to opening.

Watch CBC's Margaret Gallagher give "The Beast" a spin when it first opened in 2015:

Watch CBC Radio's Margaret Gallagher give 'The Beast' a spin 1:37

With files from Dan Burritt

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