Family relive big wheel horror after cab plunges towards ground at 100ft

A horrified mum told of her family's ordeal at the top of a 100ft big wheel as the cab they were in started plunging towards the ground at "terrifying speed".

Samantha McGovern revealed she feared they "could die" while her daughter was crying when they became trapped on the attraction in Dundee, Scotland, the Daily Record reports.

The 34-year-old was trapped on the ride with children Kaydee, 11, and Tyelor, 13, for more than an hour on Tuesday, October 13.

When staff managed to get it working again, passengers had to be helped off when their carriages reached the bottom as it did not stop completely.

The wheel stopped working again later that night and had to be shut down – but this time there was no one on board.

Samantha, said she feared the worst when their cab began to fall backwards at a “terrifying speed”. She had gone to the gardens with the children, her husband Scott, and his son Blake, 11, at around 3.30pm.

Scott and Blake stayed on the ground while they watched the rest of the family on the ride.

Samantha said: "To begin with we weren't overly concerned but as time wore on it became more worrying.

"I was trying to stay calm for the sake of my kids. I think they were OK to begin with, but then when the guys on the ground operating the wheel eventually managed to release the brake, which had caused the wheel to stop, it began to go backwards at speed.

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"My daughter was crying and screaming and so were other people in other carriages. It was a terrifying experience."

Scott said: “From our position on the ground we realised something was wrong not long after the wheel began moving, then it just stopped.

“Samantha and the kids were in a carriage near the top at the time. I wasn’t overly concerned initially but then somebody said something about the brake becoming jammed.

“The wheel began to go backwards really quickly and everyone was screaming. It was like something out of a Hollywood movie.”

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Thomson Events, which owns and operates the big wheel, stressed that the attraction was now working properly and safe to go on while they apologised to people who were stuck on it on Tuesday.

Owner John Thomson said: "The initial problem was caused by a flat battery. The battery had to be recharged.

"The second issue was caused by the malfunction of a part that we had to order from Italy.

“After the part broke down we did not restart the wheel until we got the new part. We have now managed to fix that and the wheel is running safely again.

"We are sorry people got stuck on the wheel on Tuesday afternoon."

“Unfortunately due to the weight balance issue when we got the wheel going again it moved backwards quicker than it should have.

“At no time was there any danger to anyone.”

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