By Philippe Orphanides
An amusement park in Ayia Napa where two people were seriously injured will be inspected by the fire service and the electromechanical department before it is allowed to reopen, a park spokesperson said on Monday.
Parko Paliatso closed its doors over the weekend after a 44-year-old Russian tourist and her seven-year-old son were injured when the swing on the Star Flyer carousel they were on collided with another ride.
“The amusement park is currently closed and new checks are expected by the fire department and mechanical engineers in order to get authorisation from Ayia Napa municipality to reopen,” said a Parko Paliatso spokeswoman.
“The carousel involved in the accident was last inspected on Tuesday April 9,” she added. The certification was done by TÜV Cyprus, a subsidiary of TÜV Hellas and a member of TÜV Nord Group that provides the park an inspection certification every year.
In the accident on Friday, the boy suffered an exposed fracture on his right leg while his mother lacerated her left knee, broke her right hand and suffered concussion. They are recuperating in a private clinic.
Asked about the operator of the carousel, the spokeswoman said every operator was trained by each ride’s manufacturer. On Saturday the park said an initial investigation said human error was to blame for the accident as the ride was operating too fast, meaning the swing went further out than usual, hitting the adjacent ride.
Earlier Monday, department of labour inspection director, Anastasios Yiannaki, told private Astra radio that there was no legal framework for amusement parks in Cyprus or the EU.
He added that his department is involved in investigating the circumstances of the accident and called on all local authorities to carry out proper inspections of amusement parks prior to issuing licences.
Amusement parks are supervised by the interior ministry and local authorities. The electromechanical services are under the transport ministry.
Strovolos mayor Andreas Papacharalambous, whose municipality hosts an amusement park each Christmas, echoed Yiannaki saying there was no legislation specific to the operation and safety of amusement parks.
He explained that the operating license is issued by the municipality upon strict controls from foreign companies specialised in amusement parks. He added that legislation should be adopted and local authority inspections improved.