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Bodies of victims identified after park ride malfunctions

Accident occurred during the Space Journey ride, which malfunctioned when all onboard were experiencing doubled gravity. -China Daily/ANN

Thu, Jul 01, 2010
China Daily/Asia News Network

SHENZHEN - The six people killed in an amusement park ride that malfunctioned were all identified on Wednesday.

The six dead include two men and four women aged between 24 and 48. Five of the six dead were from Guangdong province and the other casualty was from Hunan province.

The ten injured have been sent to one district hospital and two municipal-level hospitals in the city of Shenzhen in South China's Guangdong province. Five of them were severely injured, but are in stable condition.

"I saw bodies lying on the floor of the hospital immediately after they arrived," said a middle-aged cleaner, surnamed Qu, on Wednesday in Meisha Hospital, the closest to the Adventure Canyon theme park in the Overseas Chinese Town (OCT) East. "Five had already died and one died later."

"Clothes covered in blood were spread on the floor. It took me hours to clean the entire hall."

The accident occurred at 4:45 pm on Tuesday during the Space Journey ride, which malfunctioned when 48 passengers were experiencing doubled gravity in the facility, which simulates a rocket launch.

Zeng Hui, general manager of the resort OCT East, said in a statement released by the company on Wednesday that no human failures were responsible for causing the accident.

Meanwhile, the official investigation into the accident continues.

The Space Journey has 12 cabins, each of which can accommodate four people. The ride received an A-level national safety standard qualification from the China Special Equipment Inspection and Research Institute in April 2009 and its first public run took place in May 2009.

Zeng said the facility routinely undergoes a safety inspection.

Witnesses said there was an explosion at the scene of the accident.

Hong Kong's Ming Pao Daily News quoted witnesses as saying one cabin came loose during a high-speed spin and struck other cabins. Some of them fell 15 meters, sending passengers tumbling.

However, a female PR manager for OCT East, surnamed Zhang, who sought to dampen down all the speculation about the cause of the accident, told China Daily that the investigation is being handled by the government.

"The relevant financial departments have already been in the contact with the insurance company over the details," Zhang said.

Compensation is expected to be paid to the victims in accordance with public liability insurance, Zeng said.

OCT East is operated by OCT Enterprises Co, a large State-owned enterprise involved in property development tourism, and electronic manufacturing.

-China Daily/Asia News Network

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