Frantic Rescue For 20 People Trapped Hanging Upside-down
Subic Fiesta Carnival Ride Stalls
by Vic V. Vizcocho, Jr.
TWENTY (20) people were left-hanging upside down for over an hour when a roller coaster in an amusement park in Subic stalled in the middle of a loop on Monday night, three days before the new year.
The harrowing experience left tsome of the victims with sore back, shoulders and legs but all were definitely traumatized.
Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Fire & Rescue personnel arrived at the scene within minutes but rescue efforts were hampered with the evident lack of emergency equipment of the amusement park operator, Subic Fiesta Carnival.
Ranny Magno, chief of SBMA’s Fire & Rescue Dept. said they requested the local electric power utility distributor Subic Enerzone for assistance and the latter readily sent a “basket truck.”
“We have to do it carefully as quick as we can but we cannot compromise the safety of the victims and also the rescuers,” Magno said.
As the drama was ongoing, carnival operations went on as if there was no emergency at hand, drawing flak from netizens from all over the social media.
Carnival mechanical consultant Eng’r. Mario Cruz later told reporters he was not present in the site when the incident happened but claimed the rides undergo testing regularly. An SBMA staff who asked not to be named for lack of authority to speak on the matter, however, said that the last testing was in October or three months before the incident.
Subic Fiesta Carnival rests on some 5 hectares of land at the Central Business District of the Subic Bay Freeport. Its seasonal operations, usually from October to January or February the following year, has also drawn criticisms for not being commensurate to the potnetials of the prime lot that Subic Fiesta Carnival occupies all-year-round, albeit closed for the rest of the year.