A wave machine malfunctioned in a Chinese water park, creating a “tsunami” that lifting swimmers on a 10-foot crest before crashing down, surging over the sides and dumping people on the poolside.
44 people were injured, including some suffering from broken ribs in the incident in Yanbian, Manchuria, according to the South China Morning Post.
Videos posted to social media show the massive wave—reportedly 10 feet high—lifting inflatables and swimmers, to the sounds of screaming children, before it breaks into the crowded pool and then boils along as bystanders flee on foot from the surge.
The video also shows one woman lying on the ground in the aftermath, with blood on her knees.
“The operator got drunk and turned the wave magnitude to the maximum level,” according to what appears to the original poster of the video, a Twitter account by the name of Augustus Manchurius Borealis.
Water world Tsunami injuring many in Yanbian, Manchuria. The operator got drunk and turned the wave magnitude to maximum level. pic.twitter.com/PjKTBelPRA
— Augustus Manchurius Borealis (@1984to1776) July 30, 2019
However, a Shuiyun Water Park spokesperson told the Metro, “It was caused by a mechanical fault. Only around 10 people were injured.”
Many other media reports, including China Daily News, however, reported the number of injured as 44.
“Online rumors say that a worker wrongly operated the controls, but in reality, it was a problem with the equipment,” a park employee told Beijing Times, per the South China Morning Post.
A statement posted to Weibo by the local government said the incident was caused by a power cut that damaged electronic equipment in the control room.
According to China Daily News, the incident occurred on the afternoon of July 30 and left people with fractures to their feet and ribs.
Located near the border with North Korea in eastern China, Yulongshuiyun Water Park has been open since 2015 with around 500,000 visitors a year.
The incident comes just two months after two people died and 12 injured after they flew off a slide in China on Labor day.
The town government reported the incident at the Children’s Garden attraction in Taiping, Sichuan province, on May 1.
Photographs of the aftermath show injured people lying on the ground near the 770 foot-long slide after safety equipment failed,
reported the Daily Mail.
A woman who was at the park with her daughter when the accident happened said she thought the ride might have been overcrowded, reported the South China morning post at the time.
— Kevin Takumi (@KevinTakumi) May 26, 2019
Two adults and a child were thrown out of the log-shaped car as it reached the bottom of a waterslide.