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Better regulation needed after zip-wire death at theme park in Wales

Calls have been made for better regulation on zip-wires after an 11-year-old fell to his death at a theme park in Wales.

Bailey Sumner, from Blackpool, was killed following the incident at Greenwood Forest Park near Caernarfon on Easter Sunday in 2011.

An inquest heard how the youngster was wrongly attached to a rope but, due to a lack of statutory guidance, a verdict of accidental death was returned by a jury.

Nicola Jones, deputy coroner fro North Wales said she would be writing to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and other relevant bodies.

She plans to ask for a raft of changes, including licensing and guidelines on how rides should be built and operated.

The incident was investigated by the HSE and Gwynedd council but no prosecutions have been brought against the park.

After the inquest, a Gwynedd council spokesperson said it was continuing to carry out investigations into possible regulatory breaches.

“Our officers have been carefully considering all the possible options before deciding what action is necessary,” they said.

“Now that the inquest has come to an end, we will be moving forward to pursue these actions.”

Park owner Stephen Bristow said: “The park has always had the highest safety standards. However, there is currently no specific guidance in place which relates to the circumstances which led to Bailey’s death.

“We therefore welcome the coroner’s move to urge the HSE to consider whether specific guidance should be drafted and made publicly available for permanent zip-wires to ensure a tragic accident like this doesn’t happen again.

“The tragic death of Bailey has deeply affected and saddened everyone at Greenwood. We are so sorry that this terrible accident happened at our park.”

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