Rescue operation

The fire brigade rescued the passengers Credit: Shona King / Twitter

31 July 2016 • 9:49pm

Firefighters have come to the aid of 19 people who were left stuck 20 metres high at the top of a fairground ride on London’s South Bank.

Some of those on board the ride are children, the London Fire Brigade said.

The ride puts customers in hanging capsules, from which the emergency services had to rescue them using an a cherry-picker style piece of equipment.

The passengers are believed to have been stuck in the air for a number of hours, as the fire service was initially called shortly before 6pm. The rescue effort was still on going at around 9.30pm on Sunday.

Eyewitnesses said the ten capsules were swinging in the wind as the people inside them had to step onto the rescue platform.

One 21-year-old visitor told the Evening Standard: “I would be really scared if I was on the ride, after seeing this I won’t be going on a ride like this for a long time.

“The cars are swinging so it’s very scary, it’s windy and I can see the ride moving.”

Riders being rescued Credit: Shona King / Twitter

London Fire Brigade Station Manager Clive Robinson said: “Crews are using an aerial ladder platform which is a bit like a cherry picker to reach the people and bring them back down.

“It’s slow work as we need to access each cage on the ride individually and ensure they are secure before we move them from the ride onto our platform and bring them back down to the ground.

“There are no injuries and everyone is patiently waiting for us to get around to them.”

Crews also worked with the onsite engineer to manually release the ride’s ‘friction break’, allowing the carriages to be aligned with the aerial ladder platform.

Two fire engines from Lambeth fire station and two aerial ladder platforms from Greenwich and Clapham fire stations attended the scene.

In a statement on Sunday evening the fire brigade said: “The Brigade was called at 1755 and crews are expected to be at the scene for some time.”

London Wunderground later said everyone had been safely evacuated from the ride and the company who manages the attraction was investigating the fault.