The owner of a bumper car attraction has rejected claims his structure is unsafe, after social media users voiced their concerns in a well-known public group.
Responding to photographs showing the floor of Super Auto Crash in Buġibba being held up by wooden posts and concrete blocks, Facebook users called the attraction “so unsafe” and “a disaster waiting to happen”.
They called on authorities to act.
The owner, who identified himself as Sammy Galea over the phone, told Times of Malta there had never been any accidents at the 40-year-old site.
“I know what I’m doing, it’s very strong,” said the 62-year-old.
When asked if he’d ever had any complaints from customers about safety, he replied: “Of course not. If people were scared, they wouldn’t come.”
The structure had been certified by a qualified engineer, Galea said, adding he has insurance and that he inspects the floor from underneath every day. He said he also owns and builds merry-go-rounds, trains and other fairground attractions.
He put the online complaints down to jealousy.
“They’re complaining because they’re jealous... I have a farm as well, I do everything, that’s why they’re jealous,” he said.
At the time of going to print, the post in the ‘Are You Being Served?’ Facebook group had racked up almost 300 likes and over 100 comments.
'It only takes one incident'
Marc Bonello, head of the university’s Civil and Structural Engineering Department, warned that, despite the owner’s claims of safety, an accident could have “serious consequences”.
“It only takes one incident to disprove such a claim, which could have serious consequences upon the staff and users of the temporary facility,” he said.
Commenting on the use of stone and timber supports, Bonello noted precast concrete blocks would better support the vibrations created by the cars.
“The moral of the story, therefore, is that the design, erection and dismantling of temporary structures requires the same level of rigour and professionalism as that required for permanent structures,” Bonello said.
The owner has since installed wooden flaps to hide the view underneath the platform.