A boy has been hit in the face by a pigeon while riding on the world’s tallest rollercoaster in the US.
Shane Matus suffered bruises and scratches on his face and neck after being struck by the bird when he was on the front of the Kingda-Ku in Jackson, New Jersey.
After at first thinking he had been hit by a ball, the 12-year-old realised it was some kind of bird when he began spitting out feathers.
He told US news channel NBC: “When it hit me I was like, did somebody throw a ball or something? When I started spitting out feathers, I was like, that was a bird.”
Further describing his experience, Shane said: “They say the bird exploded. It hurt a lot for like three seconds. People behind us had feathers and blood all over them.”
After the incident, the boy was taken to hospital and the ride, which reaches speeds of up to 128mph and claims to “catapult people 45 storeys into the sky”, was shut down for half an hour.
Shane said that if he had not heard a car alarm and turned his head towards a car park seconds before the collision, the bird would have flown straight into his eye.
A spokesman for Six Flags amusement park, where the ride – the fastest in North America – is situated, told NBC that nothing like this had ever happened before.
Shane’s father, Adam Matus, has described it as a “freak accident”.
Shane said he would be happy to go on the rollercoaster again – just not in the front carriage.