A terrified family said they feared they would die after they became trapped at the top of Dundee’s big wheel and it began to roll backwards.
The McGovern family were trapped on the Slessor Gardens attraction for more than an hour on Tuesday after it ground to a halt.
They claim that at one point the wheel spun backwards at speed and was seemingly out of control.
Eventually, when operators managed to get it working again, passengers had to be helped off when their carriages reached the bottom as it did not stop completely.
The big wheel stopped working again later that night and had to be shut down but this time there was no one on board.
Samantha McGovern, who was on the wheel with her children Kaydee, 11 and Tyelor, 13, said she feared the worst when their cab began to fall backwards at a “terrifying speed”.
The 34-year-old had gone along to the gardens with the children, her husband Scott, and his son Blake, 11, at around 3.30pm.
Scott and Blake stayed on the ground to watch as the rest of the family decided to go on the ride.
Samantha said: “We were near the top of the wheel when we realised something was wrong and it stopped moving.
“To begin with we weren’t overly concerned but as time wore on it became more worrying.
“It was also very windy and freezing. Scott was texting up to me that they would get it sorted and I was trying to stay calm for the sake of my kids.
“I think they were okay to begin with, but then when the guys on the ground operating the wheel eventually managed to release the brake, which had caused the wheel to stop, it began to go backwards at speed.
“At that point I actually wondered if we would get off in one piece – it crossed my mind that we could die.
“My daughter was crying and screaming and so were other people in other carriages.”
Samantha said the experience had put the family off returning to the attraction.
She added: “It was a terrifying experience. At the time you just kind of dealt with it but when we got back home and thought about it it really hit us hard what had happened.
“When I went to bed every time I closed my eyes I felt like the room was moving.”
Meanwhile, Scott was also frightened for his family as he watched the drama unfold from the ground.
He said: “From our position on the ground we realised that something was wrong not long after the wheel began moving, then it just stopped.
“Samantha and the kids were in a carriage near the top at that time. I wasn’t overly concerned initially but then somebody said something about the brake becoming jammed.
“A guy with an allen key actually began to climb up the structure to try to release the jammed mechanism.
“When he did the wheel began to go backwards really quickly and everyone was screaming.
“It was like something out of a Hollywood movie. I tried to stay calm and reassure Samantha and the kids but it was very frightening. We were all completely shocked by what happened.”
Scott said as the wheel began to turn he and others on the ground had to quickly jump in to open doors to release families as quickly as possible because the wheel was still in motion.
Thomson Events, which owns and run the big wheel, stressed the attraction was now working properly and safe to go on.
John Thomson, the owner, said: “The initial problem on Tuesday was caused by a flat battery. The battery had to be recharged.
“The second issue was caused by the malfunction of a part that we had to order from Italy.
“After the part broke down we did not restart the wheel until we got the new part. We have now managed to fix that and the wheel is up and running safely again.”
“We are sorry that people got stuck on the wheel on Tuesday afternoon. Unfortunately due to the weight balance issue when we got the wheel going again it moved backwards quicker than it should have.
“At no time was there any danger to anyone. Our staff were in control and we managed to get everyone off safely.”