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January 28, 2011

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Old roller-coaster fears

AGING amusement park rides are putting the safety of city residents at risk, a local expert warned yesterday.

For while there are more than 300 large amusement park rides in operation in the city, there is no law stipulating how long they can stay in service.

This warning follows a roller-coaster malfunction on Monday that left 25 passengers trapped 60 meters up in Shanghai Happy Valley amusement park.

But despite the expected growth in theme park industry - including Shanghai Disneyland, which is set to open in 2015 - officials can't to enforce the mandatory disposal of old machines, warned Fang Xiuren, an engineering expert.

Fang was speaking after completing an investigation into the city's practices in this area.

"Currently, there's no state-level law regulating amusement machine disposals. But Shanghai is seeing a big increase in amusement park development, so the need for a specific and detailed safety supervision law is urgent," Fang said.

Fang, a member of the city's top political advisory body, has officially raised a proposal with the city's quality and technical supervision bureau, calling for urgent legislation.


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