VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – With just days before the PNE Fair begins, one of its rides is out of commission after a frightening incident on Monday. The Beast, which swings people 12 storeys into the air like a pendulum, broke down mid-ride, showering riders with oil.
McKenna Henderson was on the ride when something went wrong just before 3 p.m.
“We heard some abnormal noises, kind of like clashing metal and then the ride starts shaking and they pull an emergency stop and everyone gets off,” she says. “It was really nerve-wracking for both me and my friend who was beside me. We weren’t feeling like we were going to get injured because I trust Playland, but I definitely didn’t trust the ride at that point, and I really wanted to get off. Every second felt like an hour to me.”
Henderson says while she was relieved to be off the ride, The Beast continued to malfunction.
“Then we noticed something falling from the top of the steeple, which turns out to be motor oil but looks like almost cement. It’s hitting people and hitting the ground and making everything slippery. A good two litres. It was like a shower – it was spraying everywhere, clothing, hair, bags. It got me on my clothing and hair. It was really warm, it appeared green.”
Laura Ballance with Playland says the ride broke down because of a parts issue and staff worked to bring the ride to a slow stop. She says no one was injured in the incident, and Playland will be investigating what exactly happened.
“In this case, we will look into the nature of what the issue was and we will report out once we have the specifics,” she says. “With the oil, it’s not ideal, but we will deal with those guests on a case-by-case basis.”
After the ride, Henderson says she and her friend were given passes to come back to Playland in compensation.
All rides are inspected annually by Technical Safety BC and third-party safety consultants, Ballance says, adding Playland staff also inspect each ride daily before opening.
Though the PNE opens this coming Saturday, there is no timeline for The Beast to be operational again. Ballance says they will take the necessary time required for engineers to assess and properly repair it.
The ordeal wasn’t enough to turn Henderson away from the ride. She says she’ll be back on The Beast again, as she understands it was just an accident.