EDINBURGH’S iconic festival ferris wheel was closed after revelations it was inspected by the same official who passed the faulty rollercoaster which derailed at M&D’s.
In June ten people – including three children – were injured in a horror rollercoaster derailing at M&D’s theme park in Motherwell, North Lanarkshire.
In the weeks since the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has ordered that all rides inspected by Craig Boswell – who passed the M&D’s ride – be re-inspected.
Now it has emerged that Edinburgh festival’s towering 144ft ferris wheel was closed and dismantled after officials discovered that Boswell was responsible for inspecting it.
The ride – installed in Princes Street Gardens – was closed for a week whilst the pods were removed and inspected before re-opening on Wednesday, barely in time for the beginning of the Fringe festival.
The huge ferris wheel – looming over the busiest shopping district in the city – is an icon of the festival season, when over 2m visitors flock to the city.
M&D’s were asked for a comment whilst the safety checks were ongoing – but declined to provide one until the ride was re-opened on Wednesday.
A spokeswoman for M&D’s Events, who operate the Edinburgh festival wheel, said:
“Following discussions with Edinburgh City Council, we took the decision to temporarily close the attraction to allow for an additional inspection, carried out by a certified independent expert.
“The Edinburgh Festival Wheel passed the inspection and reopened yesterday (Wed) for visitors to enjoy.”
Independent councillor, Jim Orr, stated: “Safety is of utmost importance, especially given the recent accident in Lanarkshire.”
Conservative city centre councillor Joanna Mowat added: “It is embarrassing, particularly at festival time when thousands of people flock to the city.”
Tragedy struck on June 26 this year, when five carriages on the Tsunami rollercoaster at M&D’s theme park came loose at nearly 40mph.
Bystanders tried to free the trapped passengers from the rollercoaster which had been inspected by Boswell just over two weeks prior to the accident.
He removed himself from the Amusement Device Inspection Procedures Scheme register and was given an HSE ban.
The Edinburgh Fringe Festival officially starts tomorrow and is the largest arts festival in the world with a host of top comedians, performers and writers descending on the city.