2001 NEWS ARCHIVE

JANUARY

  • Family of boy injured on Roger Rabbit ride suing Disneyland (1/3/01)
  • Six Flags ordered to pay $450,000 to riders in 1998 Demon accident (1/16/01)
  • Boy, 2, loses thumb on kiddie ride at Florida fair (1/19/01)
  • Girl, 6, loses finger in Disneyland accident (1/21/01)
  • CPSC to investigate latest Disneyland accident (1/24/01)
  • Accident at Knott's Berry Farm injures employee (1/27/01)
  • Disneyland closes Pirates of the Carribean ride after accident (1/30/01)

    FEBRUARY

  • Ride operator blamed for latest Disneyland accident (2/1/01)
  • New Disneyland ride malfunctions; riders evacuated (2/3/01)
  • New Jersey ride owner cited for 16 safety violations, fined $24,250 (2/7/01)
  • Go-cart track operator banned in Illinois (2/8/01)

    MARCH

  • One killed, 12 injured in inflatable ride accident (3/11/01)
  • Skydiver ride rips girls hair from head (3/19/01)
  • Boy, 2, injured in fall from carnival ride (3/25/01)

    APRIL

  • National Amusement Park Ride Safety Act of 2001 introduced to Congress (4/4/01)
  • Carnival ride safety bill passes Texas Senate (4/18/01)
  • Man thrown from fair ride, killed (4/18/01)
  • Anaheim paramedics to be permanently stationed at Disneyland parks (4/20/01)
  • Ride malfunction leaves 9 stranded at Florida park (4/21/01)
  • Carnival worker, 43, killed in fall from Ferris wheel (4/30/01)

    MAY

  • Roller coaster blaze injures 63 (5/1/01)
  • Knott's Berry Farm ordered to improve safety procedures (5/3/01)
  • Roller coaster fire blamed on electrical wiring (5/4/01)
  • Roller coaster malfunctions; 2 injured (5/6/01)
  • Woman, 45, killed in fall from Ferris wheel (5/10/01)
  • NO DEFENSE: "SAFETY MAN OF THE CENTURY" PLEADS GUILTY IN HIMALAYA DEATH (5/11/01)
  • Accident at Six Flags Marine World injures woman (5/12/01)
  • Another inflatable ride collapses; 3 children injured (5/20/01)
  • Another inflatable ride collapses; 9 children injured (5/21/01)
  • Industry helps defeat carnival ride safety bill (5/23/01)
  • North Carolina slide was uninspected and overloaded, says state (5/25/01)
  • Six Flags Worlds of Adventure closes ride (5/25/01)
  • Six Flags Fiesta Texas roller coaster malfunctions; 2 injured (5/28/01)

    JUNE

  • Woman, 28, dies after ride on Goliath at Six Flags Magic Mountain (6/2/01)
  • One dead, one injured in bungee ride accident (6/3/01)
  • Coroner's office launches probe into woman's death; Goliath closed (6/4/01)
  • Another raft capsizes on Visionland's Wild River Gorge ride (6/6/01)
  • Fire destroys bumper car ride at Maine amusement park; no injuries (6/9/01)
  • Eight riders treated for inhaling chlorine fumes at Paramount's Carowinds (6/9/01)
  • Roller coaster accident kills Lake Compounce worker (6/13/01)
  • Workers given no notice that coaster would be running (6/14/01)
  • Riders trapped after Lake Compounce roller coaster malfunctions (6/14/01)
  • State allows Six Flags to reopen Goliath (6/14/01)
  • Sensor malfunction blamed for Lake Compounce Zoomerang mishap (6/19/01)
  • Disney settles brain hemorrhage lawsuit; injury data will remain secret (6/20/01)
  • Roller coaster accident kills one, injures 3 (6/21/01)
  • Roller coaster malfunctions; five injured (6/21/01)
  • Ride collapses at New York park; 12 injured (6/23/01)
  • Inflatable ride tips over at Michigan carnival; 2 children injured (6/24/01)
  • Ride tips over at Busch Gardens; 2 injured (6/26/01)
  • Carnival worker dies after accident (6/30/01)

    JULY

  • Woman, 41, killed in water slide accident (7/5/01)
  • Carnival worker crushed, killed (7/10/01)
  • Park ordered to relocate flume ride (7/11/01)
  • Another inflatable ride accident; 4 injured (7/15/01)
  • Riders stranded atop 255-foot high roller coaster (7/18/01)
  • Six Flags New England faces lawsuit in 1999 Blizzard River accident (7/20/01)
  • Carnival operator faces lawsuit (7/20/01)
  • Amusement ride laws tighten in New Jersey (7/20/01)
  • Faulty assembly blamed for Myrtle Beach roller coaster accident (7/20/01)
  • Roller coaster malfunctions; 8 injured (7/21/01)
  • Ride stalls; passengers stranded upside down (7/23/01)
  • Jazzland roller coaster malfunctions; 9 injured (7/24/01)
  • Man dies after accident on carnival ride (7/26/01)
  • Tilt-A-Whirl car derails (7/26/01)
  • Canobie Lake roller coaster accident injures 5 (7/27/01)
  • Coroner's report exonerates Goliath (7/27/01)
  • Operator blamed for Yankee Cannonball accident; ride reopens (7/28/01)
  • Operator error suspected in Branson USA accident; ride reopens (7/28/01)
  • Another inflatable ride collapses; 5 injured (7/28/01)
  • Riders trapped inside observation tower at Six Flags Elitch Gardens (7/29/01)
  • Bungee cord snaps on Texas thrill ride; 2 injured (7/29/01)
  • Kennywood sued for negligence in Lake Compounce drowning death (7/30/01)
  • Ride collapses at Michigan's Adventure; 31 injured (7/30/01)
  • Parks shut down Chaos rides throughout country (7/31/01)

    AUGUST

  • Chaos probe could take weeks, say investigators (8/3/01)
  • Girl, 13, injured in fall from Hard Rock ride (8/4/01)
  • Roller coaster accident injures 22 at Six Flags New England (8/6/01)
  • Roller coaster accident kills 8 in Iran (8/9/01)
  • Amusement ride explosion injures 7 at Washington fair (8/11/01)
  • Boy injured on Titanic inflatable (8/12/01)
  • Jumping Jack ride malfunctions; five injured (8/13/01)
  • Carnival ride breaks apart in New Jersey; 14 injured (8/16/01)
  • Braking system faulted in Superman Ride of Steel accident; ride reopens (8/18/01)
  • Another inflatable Titanic ride accident; 2 injured (8/19/01)
  • No link between Monkey Business ride and woman's death, says state (8/20/01)
  • CPSC releases annual report on amusement ride safety (8/23/01)
  • Fair worker struck by ride (8/27/01)
  • Power Surge ride malfunctions at Maryland State Fair (8/27/01)

    SEPTEMBER

  • Woman, 20, dies from ruptured brain aneurysm after roller coaster ride (9/1/01)
  • Cedar Point's Millennium Force strands passengers; ride closed (9/2/01)
  • Libertyland ride operator struck by Spider ride (9/2/01)
  • Montezuma's Revenge not to blame for woman's death, says state (9/5/01)
  • Child dies from roller coaster injury in Pennsylvania (9/10/01)
  • Autopsy: boy died as a direct result of roller coaster accident (9/13/01)
  • Reithoffer Shows faces lawsuit in Pennsylvania death (9/17/01)
  • Woman killed in 100-foot fall from Perilous Plunge at Knott's Berry Farm (9/21/01)
  • Intamin says 'Plunge' is safe; riders say seat belts were not checked (9/25/01)

    OCTOBER

  • Cedar Fair, Intamin sued in Perilous Plunge death (10/10/01)
  • Roller coaster collision injures 20 at Paramount's Kings Island (10/14/01)
  • Ride injures girl at Alabama fair (10/18/01)
  • Worker killed in roller coaster accident (10/22/01)
  • Intamin: Perilous Plunge rider was too big for restraints (10/23/01)

    NOVEMBER

  • Boy injured at Mississippi carnival (11/3/01)

    DECEMBER

  • Lake Compounce cited for ten safety violations, fined $14,500 (12/29/01)


  • Lake Compounce cited for ten safety violations, fined $14,500

    (Saturday, December 29, 2001) - For the second time in less than two years, Lake Compounce amusement park has been cited for "serious" safety violations in connection with the death of an employee. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited the Bristol, Connecticut park for ten "serious" safety violations in connection with an accident in which an employee was struck by the park's Boulder Dash roller coaster and killed. As a result of the citations, Lake Compounce must pay $14,500 in fines.

    The accident happened June 13. The man, a 23-year-old maintenance worker, was trimming weeds underneath the wooden structure of the ride about a half-hour before the park opened. He was wearing plugs in his ears to protect them from the loud noise of the weed-cutting equipment he was using at the time, and was unable to hear an oncoming train which had been dispatched on a test run. He was struck by the train and killed.

    In the wake of the accident, one of the victim's co-workers claimed that neither he nor the victim was given safety training by Lake Compounce before they began working as members of the park's grounds crew. Richard Bisi, spokesman for Lake Compounce, said that all employees are given safety training before they begin work at the park. But OSHA investigators concluded that the park "did not provide sufficient training to ensure that ground maintenance/keepers understood and possessed the skills required to safely work in and around rides and equipment."

    The park was also cited for not following procedures to ensure employee safety during maintenance work. OSHA also noted that maintenance workers were not wearing proper protective clothing, and that there were no guardrails along the top of the roller coaster where workers walk to inspect the ride.

    In January, 2000, OSHA fined the park $7,000 in connection with an August, 1999 accident which killed a 16-year-old employee. He was struck by a ride called the Tornado and dragged underneath it. He died a day later from his injuries. OSHA cited the park, saying that it failed to use "feasible and acceptable methods" to prevent employees from entering the area of ride rotation. The citation also said that Lake Compounce "did not furnish employment and a place of employment which were free from recognized hazards and that were causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees."

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    Boy injured at Mississippi carnival

    (Saturday, November 3, 2001) - At a carnival in Long Beach, Mississippi, a 23-month-old boy was seriously injured on a kiddie car ride. It is believed that the boy attempted to exit the ride while it was in motion. He fell underneath his car, and was dragged face-down with his head pinned. He suffered a broken collarbone, a broken rib, a bruised lung, a double hernia, and 50 to 60 stitches in his head. He remains hospitalized in stable condition.

    The ride is owned and operated by Delta Shows.


    Intamin: Perilous Plunge rider was too big for restraints

    (Tuesday, October 23, 2001) - Intamin AG, the manufacturer of Knott's Berry Farm's Perilous Plunge water chute ride, says that the 40-year-old woman who was killed in a fall from the ride last month was too large for the safety restraint system to work properly.

    "If the [seat belt] is not closed because there is an obese belly in front of it, and the seat belt can't be put around the waist and pulled tight, I don't know what to say. Basically, you build a restraint system suitable for most of the people who go to the park," says Intamin president Sandor Kernacs.

    A report by the Orange County coroner's office reports that the woman weighed 292 pounds, had a 58-inch abdomen, and that her hips were about 50 inches around. Kernacs says that the seat belts on the ride only extend about 50 inches around.

    The woman was thrown from the ride on September 21 and fell about 100 feet to her death.

    The attorney representing the woman's family says that no one warned the victim that the ride was not designed for obese people.

    Perilous Plunge remains closed as the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration continues its investigation.

    The accident marks the third time since 1999 that a rider was ejected from an Intamin-made ride. On August 22, 1999, a 12-year-old boy was killed when he fell from Intamin's Drop Zone Stunt Tower freefall ride at Paramount's Great America theme park in Santa Clara, California. An investigation into his death yielded no explanation as to why he fell from the ride. Another accident on May 16, 1999 involved a 37-year-old man who was injured when he was ejected from Intamin's Superman Ride of Steel roller coaster at Six Flags Darien Lake theme park in Darien Center, New York. The man weighed over 300 pounds.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    Worker killed in roller coaster accident

    (Monday, October 22, 2001) - A 59-year-old worker was killed in a roller coaster accident at Camelot theme park in Lancashire, England. The man was standing near the ride, a steel looping roller coaster called the Gauntlet, when the accident happened.

    Lancashire Police and the Health and Safety Executive are investigating.


    Ride injures girl at Alabama fair

    (Thursday, October 18, 2001) - A 15-year-old girl suffered a broken neck on a ride at the Greater Gulf State Fair in Mobile, Alabama. The accident happened on a ride called Feuerball. A witness to the accident said that the victim's neck snapped backward and popped. She was sent to a hospital where she underwent surgery for a fractured vertabrae. Investigators say that there was no mechanical malfunction.

    The girl had no history of neck problems and met the height requirement for the ride.

    Alabama's Mobile Register reports that the ride is owned and operated by Conklin Shows of Canada. It features a circular gondola which seats 24 passengers. The gondola rotates at 15 rpm, and is attached to a swinging arm which swings to an angle of 120 degees at heights of up to 60 feet. The ride is marketed as the fastest of its kind and a sign in front of the ride in Alabama indicated that it had been voted the fair's "scariest ride."

    Howard Pringle, the president of Conklin Shows, told the Register that his company has operated the ride for the past few years without incident. He added that his company is "the number one-rated traveling carnival in the country," that the ride is "gentle" and safe, and that his company's safety record is "impeccable."

    RELATED STORIES:

  • Fair ride collapses; 16 injured (9/1/99)
  • Wave Swinger accident not the fault of manufacturer (9/21/99)
  • Conklin Shows charged with safety violations in Wave Swinger accident (11/1/99)
  • Conklin Shows settles 1995 injury case for $775,000 (7/26/00)
  • Boy, 2, loses thumb on kiddie ride at Florida fair (1/19/01)


    Roller coaster collision injures 20 at Paramount's Kings Island

    (Sunday, October 14, 2001) - At Paramount's Kings Island theme park in Cincinnati, Ohio, twenty people received minor injuries when two roller coaster trains collided on the Beast, a wooden roller coaster. The accident happened when one train failed to brake properly. A park spokesman blames rainy weather conditions for the accident, saying that the trains collided on slippery tracks.

    RELATED STORIES:

  • Paramount's Kings Island cited for 18 safety violations, fined $110,000 (2/4/00)


    Cedar Fair, Intamin sued in Perilous Plunge death

    (Tuesday, October 10, 2001) - The family of the woman who was killed in a fall from the Perilous Plunge water ride at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, California last month is suing the park's owner, Cedar Fair, and the manufacturer of the ride, Intamin, accusing them of negligence. The lawsuit alleges that the companies were aware of potential dangers which the ride posed to guests and that they failed to take steps to reduce risks to riders.

    The ride remains closed.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    Intamin says 'Plunge' is safe; riders say seat belts were not checked

    (Thursday, September 25, 2001) - Intamin AG, the Swiss manufacturer of Knott's Berry Farm's Perilous Plunge water chute, says that it has inspected the ride and has concluded that it is in safe operating condition. Officials from Intamin were called to the California theme park after a woman was killed in a 100-foot fall from the ride on Friday.

    Meanwhile, at least three passengers who were in the same boat as the victim say that ride operators did not check to make sure that the seat belts of riders on the left side of the boat had been fastened before the ride began. The victim was sitting on the left side of the boat.

    Witnesses also claim that, at one point during the ride, the victim had turned around in her seat to talk to riders sitting in the row behind her. Intamin says that riders who are properly seated and secured by the ride's restraint system would not be able to turn around in their seats.

    Susan Tierney, spokeswoman for Knott's Berry Farm, denies that operators were negligent.

    "Our employees have assured us that they followed the procedures, and we completely stand behind them."

    The fatality was the park's second this month. On September 1, a 20-year-old woman collapsed during her ride on the park's Montezuma's Revenge roller coaster and went into full cardiac arrest. She was rushed to a hospital where she died from a ruptured brain aneurysm hours later.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    Woman killed in 100-foot fall from Perilous Plunge at Knott's Berry Farm

    (Friday, September 21, 2001) - A 40-year-old woman sustained fatal injuries after falling out of a ride at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, California. The accident happened on the park's Perilous Plunge chute ride.

    Perilous Plunge was designed and manufactured by Intamin AG of Switzerland and opened in 2000. It is described by the park as the world's tallest and steepest water ride. It features a 121-foot-tall lift hill, followed by a 75-degree angle drop into a 115-foot-long water chute. The ride's three 24-passenger boats reach speeds of up to 50 miles per hour.

    The woman fell more than 100 feet to her death, even though park officials say that her seat belt and lap bar "were in their correct and locked position" when her boat returned to the dock. It is believed that the victim fell out of her boat during its plunge down into the chute. She was treated at the scene and rushed to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The cause of death is multiple blunt force trauma.

    The ride has been shut down. Officials from the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Knott's Berry Farm, and the ride's manufacturer are investigating.

    The fatality is the park's second this month. On September 1, a 20-year-old woman collapsed during her ride on the park's Montezuma's Revenge roller coaster and went into full cardiac arrest. She was rushed to a hospital where she died from a ruptured brain aneurysm hours later.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    Reithoffer Shows faces lawsuit in Pennsylvania death

    (Monday, September 17, 2001) - The father of the 7-year-old boy who was killed in a roller coaster accident in York, Pennsylvania last week has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the ride's owner, Reithoffer Shows. The lawsuit claims that the company was negligent -- that the car in which the boy was riding had no padding, no seat belts, and no restraining bar, and that it was overloaded with passengers.

    The boy was fatally injured last Monday when a brake stopped the ride short, throwing his body forward. He died at a hospital an hour later. On Thursday, an autopsy confirmed that the child died from multiple blunt force trauma -- a direct result of the accident.

    According to the Associated Press, a man was left permanently disabled after he rode the Flitzer at the Pennsylvania Fair in Hebron, Pennsylvania in 1993. The man sued Reithoffer Shows and the Pennsylvania Fair and, last December, a jury awarded him $1.1 million.


    Autopsy: boy died as a direct result of roller coaster accident

    (Thursday, September 13, 2001) - An autopsy report released by the coroner's office of York County, Pennsylvania states that the 7-year-old boy who was injured in this week's roller coaster accident at the York County Fair died as a direct result of injuries he sustained when the ride stopped abruptly. The child's cause of death was multiple blunt force trauma.

    The accident happened Monday. The boy was riding a roller coaster called the Flitzer when a brake engaged and stopped the ride abruptly. The child was taken to a local hospital where he died during surgery, about an hour later.

    Police are investigating the accident.

    The ride is owned and operated by Reithoffer Shows.


    Child dies from roller coaster injury in Pennsylvania

    (Monday, September 10, 2001) - A child died from internal injuries he suffered when a roller coaster stopped short at the York Fair in York, Pennsylvania. The boy was taken to a hospital where he died during surgery, about an hour later.

    The accident happened on a roller coaster called the Flitzer. Officials say that a brake stopped the ride abruptly.

    An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday.


    Montezuma's Revenge not to blame for woman's death, says state

    (Wednesday, September 5, 2001) - The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says that there is no link between the death of a 20-year-old woman and the roller coaster on which she collapsed. The woman went into full cardiac arrest during her ride on Montezuma's Revenge, a roller coaster at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, California, and died in a hospital hours later. An autopsy revealed that her death was the result of a ruptured brain aneurysm, but that her injury was not caused by the ride.

    "There was no evidence found at the autopsy to suggest blunt force trauma or any other problems in the mechanics of the ride," said an OSHA spokeswoman.

    The park has reopened Montezuma's Revenge with permission from OSHA.

    Since June, two other women have died under similar circumstances. On June 2, a 28-year-old woman died from a ruptured brain aneurysm after collapsing on the Goliath roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain theme park in Valencia, California. On July 21, a 42-year-old woman complained of headaches after she rode an amusement ride at Six Flags Marine World in Vallejo, California. She was hospitalized and died from a ruptured brain aneurysm two days later. Reports from medical officials involved in those cases indicate that there is no conclusive evidence to indicate how the aneurisms burst.

    In August, a non-profit, non-partisan group called The Brain Injury Association announced that it has begun an investigation into any possible link between brain injuries and amusement rides. The group will study more than 30 cases involving fatal and non-fatal brain or head injuries which are alleged to be the results of roller coasters and other amusement rides.

    RELATED STORIES:

  • Woman, 28, dies after ride on Goliath at Six Flags Magic Mountain (6/2/01)
  • State allows Six Flags to reopen Goliath (6/14/01)
  • Coroner's office launches probe into woman's death (6/4/01)
  • Coroner's report exonerates Goliath (7/27/01)
  • No link between Monkey Business ride and woman's death, says state (8/20/01)
  • Woman, 20, dies from ruptured brain aneurysm after roller coaster ride (9/1/01)


    Libertyland ride operator struck by Spider ride

    (Sunday, September 2, 2001) - At Libertyland theme park in Memphis, Tennessee, a ride operator was struck by a Spider ride after he tried to recover an item which a rider had dropped to the ground. The man was struck by one of the ride's whirling arms and knocked unconscious. He was hospitalized in critical condition and received 120 stitches in his head, but is expected to fully recover.

    The park says it will review its safety guidelines with its employees.


    Cedar Point's Millennium Force strands passengers; ride closed

    (Sunday, September 2, 2001) - At Cedar Point Park in Sandusky, Ohio, thirty park employees were left stranded on the Millennium Force roller coaster after a cable broke, stopping the train which was carrying the workers about 275 feet up the 310-foot tall lift hill. All of the passengers were evacuated from the ride in about an hour, and none of them was injured. The ride is closed, pending repairs.

    RELATED STORIES:

  • Cedar Point roller coaster malfunctions; no injuries (8/26/99)


    Woman, 20, dies from ruptured brain aneurysm after roller coaster ride

    (Saturday, September 1, 2001) - A 20-year-old woman died from a ruptured brain aneurysm after riding a roller coaster at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, California. On Friday evening, the woman collapsed during her ride on the park's Montezuma's Revenge roller coaster and went into full cardiac arrest. She was rushed to a local hospital where she died hours later.

    The Orange County coroner's office says that the woman died from a ruptured brain aneurysm.

    Since June, two other women have died under similar circumstances. On June 2, a 28-year-old woman died from a ruptured brain aneurysm after collapsing on the Goliath roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain theme park in Valencia, California. On July 21, a 42-year-old woman complained of headaches after she rode an amusement ride at Six Flags Marine World in Vallejo, California. She was hospitalized and died from a ruptured brain aneurysm two days later. Reports from medical officials involved in those cases indicate that there is no conclusive evidence to indicate how the aneurisms burst.

    The ride has been shut down pending an investigation.

    RELATED STORIES:

  • Woman, 28, dies after ride on Goliath at Six Flags Magic Mountain (6/2/01)
  • State allows Six Flags to reopen Goliath (6/14/01)
  • Coroner's office launches probe into woman's death (6/4/01)
  • Coroner's report exonerates Goliath (7/27/01)
  • No link between Monkey Business ride and woman's death, says state (8/20/01)


    Power Surge ride malfunctions at Maryland State Fair

    (Monday, August 27, 2001) - At the Maryland State Fair in Timonium, Maryland, 17 people were left stranded for more than an hour after a Power Surge ride stalled. None of the riders was injured.

    The ride features six arms which carry four cars each. The cars flip as the arms rotate about a central hydraulic arm, which lifts the entire ride to a vertical position sending riders as high as 60 feet into the air.

    The ride's hydraulic pressure was eventually released, allowing the ride to return to its horizontal loading position.

    State officials suspect that a computer error caused the mishap and are continuing their investigation.

    Power Surge is manufactured by Zamperla of Italy.


    Fair worker struck by ride

    (Monday, August 27, 2001) - At the Gig on the Green Fair in Glasgow, Scotland, a fair worker was struck in the head by the down-swinging blade of a ride called the Bomber. The victim, a 22-year-old male, was hospitalized and remains unconscious and in serious condition.

    The ride, owned and operated by M&D Leisure of Motherwell, Scotland, has been shut down, pending an investigation by police and the Health and Safety Executive.

    A spokesman for M&D Leisure refused to release any information on the accident or the worker.


    CPSC releases annual report on amusement ride safety

    (Thursday, August 23, 2001) - The Consumer Product Safety Commission has released its annual report on amusement ride safety in the United States. Among the findings of the 48-page report:

  • In 2000, there were an estimated 10,580 emergency-room treated injuries associated with both fixed-site and mobile amusement rides. From 1993 through 2000, there was a statistically significant increase in the total number of amusement ride injuries.

  • Fixed-site rides accounted for 6,590 of the total injuries in 2000 and there were 20.8 injuries per million attendance at fixed-site amusement parks. From 1993 through 2000, there was a statistically significant increase in fixed-site injuries and a marginally significant increase in the risk of fixed-site injury, defined as injuries per million attendance at amusement parks.

  • Mobile rides accounted for 3,990 of the total injuries in 2000. There was no significant trend in mobile ride injuries from 1993 through 2000. Attendance data are not available for mobile rides.

  • CPSC has reports of 2 amusement ride-related fatalities in 2000, 6 in 1999, and 7 in 1998. From 1987 through 1999, there was an estimated average of 4.5 fatalities each year. Fatality reporting for 1999 and 2000 is incomplete at this time.

  • Most injuries occurred to children 10-14 years old (17.9%), with children 5-12 (12.6%) and 15-19 years old (13.8%) next, but with many victims 0-4 years old (6.3%).

  • Females (60.8%) were injured about 1.5 times more often than males (39.2%), and this difference held across ride sites, age groups, injured body parts, and diagnoses.

  • From 1993 through 2000, the estimated number of inflatable attraction-related injuries increased from 850 to 1,918, a statistically significant increase.
  • For the complete report, see http://www.cpsc.gov/library/amus2001.pdf.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    No link between Monkey Business ride and woman's death, says state

    (Monday, August 20, 2001) - The California Department of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has retracted its statement linking the death of a 42-year-old woman to an amusement ride. On July 21, the woman rode a spinning teacup-type ride called Monkey Business at Six Flags Marine World theme park in Vallejo, California. She had complained of headaches and lightheadedness after two rides, and was hospitalized. She died of a ruptured brain aneurysm two days later.

    Initially, an OSHA spokesman stated that the ride triggered the rupture. That statement has been retracted, and OSHA now says that there is no evidence that the woman's injury was caused by the ride.

    No autopsy was performed on the victim.

    In June, a 28-year-old woman died after riding the Goliath roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain theme park in Valencia, California. She, too, suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm. The Los Angeles Coroner's Office initially reported that the roller coaster triggered the rupture, but later retracted that statement, saying that "the exact mechanisms of causing the aneurysm to rupture are not known."

    Dr. Hunt Batjer, chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at Northwestern University Medical School and chairman of the American Association of Neurosurgeons’ cerebral vascular surgery section said, "Brain hemorrhage... has been documented to occur during all activities of normal life including sleep."

    This week, a non-profit, non-partisan group called The Brain Injury Association announced that it is beginning an investigation into any possible link between brain injuries and amusement rides. The group will study more than 30 cases involving fatal and non-fatal brain or head injuries which are alleged to be the results of roller coasters and other amusement rides.

    RELATED STORIES:

  • Woman, 28, dies after ride on Goliath at Six Flags Magic Mountain (6/2/01)
  • State allows Six Flags to reopen Goliath (6/14/01)
  • Coroner's office launches probe into woman's death (6/4/01)
  • Coroner's report exonerates Goliath (7/27/01)


    Another inflatable Titanic ride accident; 2 injured

    (Sunday, August 19, 2001) - At the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto, Canada, two children were injured in a 12-foot fall from an inflatable slide called the Titanic. The children, ages 3 and 8, fell over the side of the ride on their way down and hit the ground.

    The accident is under investigation.

    The have been at least six accidents involving Titanic inflatables in the last 14 months. On August 12, a 3-year-old boy was injured and knocked unconscious after falling from a Titanic ride at a fair in Scotland. On July 28, five people were injured when a Titanic ride collapsed at a fair in Salem, Oregon. On May 21, nine children were injured after a Titanic ride collapsed at a carnival in Charlotte, North Carolina. On May 20, three children were injured after a Titanic ride collapsed at a fair in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. On June 2, 2000, five people were injured after a Titanic ride collapsed at a carnival at in Alberta, Canada.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    Braking system faulted in Superman Ride of Steel accident; ride reopens

    (Saturday, August 18, 2001) - Investigators at Six Flags New England theme park in Agawam, Massachusetts have determined that the August 6 Superman Ride of Steel roller coaster accident was caused by a faulty braking system.

    The accident happened in the ride's loading station as one train was preparing to be dispatched and the other, which was returning to unload passengers, failed to stop. The crash injured 22 people.

    After a two-week investigation, Six Flags and Intamin AG, the ride's manufacturer, have concluded that an air supply line ruptured, disabling the ride's main braking system and preventing the ride's back up system from engaging fully. They say that the second train was slowed to just under 20 miles per hour when it struck the first train.

    The air supply system has been replaced with steel reinforced lines, and the ride has passed numerous tests and inspections since the new system was installed.

    The ride reopened today.

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  • Roller coaster accident injures 22 at Six Flags New England (8/6/01)


    Carnival ride breaks apart in New Jersey; 14 injured

    (Thursday, August 16, 2001) - At a carnival in Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey, eleven children were injured when an amusement ride broke apart.

    The ride, called the Twizzler, is manufactured by Wisdom Industries of Sterling, Colorado and is one of only two in operation. The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs says that an arm holding four cars broke off the ride after a weld broke. Those cars were then struck by another set of four cars which came spinning into them.

    The cause of the weld failure is under investigation.

    The ride is owned and operated Wizard's Festival of Fun of Laurel Springs, New Jersey.


    Boy injured on Titanic inflatable

    (Sunday, August 12, 2001) - At a fair in Scotland, a 3-year-old boy was injured and knocked unconscious after falling about four feet from an inflatable slide called the Titanic. The owner of the ride says that the child fell from a chute and "bounced awkwardly." The boy was taken to a local hospital where he was treated for back injuries and released.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    Jumping Jack ride malfunctions; five injured

    (Monday, August 13, 2001) - At a fair in North Wales, five people were injured when a ride called the Jumping Jack malfunctioned. Witnesses say that the riders' car dropped suddenly after a cable snapped. The ride features spinning cars which are attached to several arms which are lifted and lowered through the air rapidly as the ride rotates.

    Three of the victims were treated at the scene and two others have been hospitalized with neck injuries.

    The accident happened at the Presthaven Sands Funfair in Gronant, North Wales. The Health and Safety Executive and North Wales police are investigating.

    The ride has been shut down.


    Amusement ride explosion injures 7 at Washington fair

    (Saturday, August 11, 2001) - At the Clark County Fair in Ridgefield, Washington, seven people were injured after a hydraulic pump on an amusement ride exploded. The victims, six of whom were carnival employees, received burns and shrapnel wounds from hot fluid and debris which exploded into the air.

    The ride, called the Star Dancer, is owned and operated by Butler Amusements of Fairfield, California. Its cars circle around a 100-foot-tall tower as a vertical lifting mechanism carries them to the top then lowers them back down to the ground.

    The ride had been experiencing mechanical problems and workers shut it down for maintenance just 15 minutes before the explosion.

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  • Swing ride malfunctions at California carnival; 2 injured (7/22/00)
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    Roller coaster accident kills 8 in Iran

    (Thursday, August 9, 2001) - Eight people died in a roller coaster accident in Karaj, Iran. There are little or no safety regulations governing the construction and operation of amusement rides in Iran.


    Roller coaster accident injures 22 at Six Flags New England

    (Monday, August 6, 2001) - At Six Flags New England theme park in Agawam, Massachusetts, twenty-two people were injured after two roller coaster trains collided on the park's Superman Ride of Steel roller coaster. The accident happened in the loading station as one train was preparing to be dispatched and the other was returning to unload passengers. Reports indicate that the second train failed to stop and struck the stationary train at about 20 miles per hour. Both trains sustained damage in the crash.

    Twenty-two passengers were taken to local hospitals, all with minor neck, back and facial injuries. In addition, two or three riders were knocked unconscious in the crash.

    The ride has been shut down pending an investigation by state and local authorities. Park officials and representatives from the ride's manufacturer, Intamin AG of Switzerland, are also investigating.


    Girl, 13, injured in fall from Hard Rock ride

    (Saturday, August 4, 2001) - At the Riverside Festival in Nottingham, England, a 13-year-old girl fell from a Hard Rock ride seconds after the ride began. She fell from her car to the ride platform. The girl was taken to a local hospital where she was treated for a sprained elbow and released.

    The ride was shut down, but was reopened within an hour after the girl's car was removed and the ride passed a safety inspection.

    The Hard Rock is a high-speed thrill ride featuring spinning cars attached to several arms which rotate around the ride's center, which lifts upward during the ride.

    The Health and Safety Executive is investigating.


    Chaos probe could take weeks, say investigators

    (Friday, August 3, 2001) - Investigators say that it could take weeks before they determine what caused a Chaos amusement ride to collapse last week at Michigan's Adventure amusement park in Muskegon, Michigan. The Michigan Department of Consumer and Industry Services has ordered the park to keep the ride closed until the investigation is complete. Many other parks throughout the country have also shut down Chaos rides, pending the outcome of the Michigan investigation.

    Dick Chance, the president of Kansas-based Chance Rides which manufactures the Chaos ride, told the Wichita Eagle that his company has finished its own investigation into the collapse, and that he is convinced his company is not to blame for the accident.

    "Our initial impression is that nothing we've found leads us to think there was a defect."

    Chance has also assured all owners of Chaos rides that the products are safe.

    Michigan's Adventure and its parent company, Cedar Fair, are still investigating, along with the state. State officials also said that an outside team of inspectors would likely be called in to join the probe. It has been reported that investigators are focusing on the bolts which secure the ride's platform to the center hub.

    The accident happened on Monday. The ride's circular platform, which holds 18 cars, somehow disengaged from the ride's hydraulic support arm and crashed to the ground. Thirty-one people suffered minor injuries.

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  • Ride collapses at Michigan's Adventure; 31 injured (7/30/01)
  • Parks shut down Chaos rides throughout country (7/31/01)


    Parks shut down Chaos rides throughout country

    (Tuesday, July 31, 2001) - Chaos rides similar to the one that collapsed yesterday at Michigan's Adventure amusement park in Muskegon, Michigan are being shut down across the country. Cedar Fair, the parent company of Michigan's Adventure, ordered its other parks, Cedar Point Park in Sandusky, Ohio and Valleyfair theme park in Shakopee, Minnesota, to shut down their Chaos rides within thirty minutes of Monday's accident. Other park operators throughout the country are following suit.

    There are 52 Chaos rides operating throughout the world. Chance Rides, the manufacturer of Chaos, says it is alerting all ride owners of the possible dangers of the ride.

    The Michigan Department of Consumer and Industry Services is investigating the accident. Park officials say that they expect to know the cause of the accident by Wednesday.

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  • Ride collapses at Michigan's Adventure; 31 injured (7/30/01)


    Ride collapses at Michigan's Adventure; 31 injured

    (Monday, July 30, 2001) - At Michigan's Adventure amusement park in Muskegon, Michigan, an amusement ride tipped over, injuring 31 passengers. Ambulances and helicopters took injured riders to local hospitals.

    The ride, called Chaos, is manufactured by Chance Rides of Wichita, Kansas. It features 18 cars which border a circular platform. The cars, each of which seat two riders, flip through 360 degrees as the platform lifts, tilts and rotates. It has operated at Michigan's Adventure since 1996.

    There were 33 passengers on the ride at the time it collapsed. Most of them suffered only minor injuries.

    Witnesses say they heard a cracking sound, then watched the ride stop and crash to the ground. Apparently, the ride was spinning as it toppled over, and briefly rolled along the ground like a wheel until it came to rest.

    Rescue teams used cranes to stabilize the ride, then worked to free the riders, who were trapped underneath locked over-the-shoulder restraints. Some riders were trapped for nearly five hours.

    The accident is under investigation.


    Kennywood Entertainment sued for negligence in Lake Compounce drowning death

    (Monday, July 30, 2001) - The mother of the 6-year-old boy who died after an accident at Lake Compounce amusement park in Bristol, Connecticut last year is suing the park's parent company, Kennywood Entertainment, for negligence.

    The accident happened on July 1, 2000. The boy drowned in Lake Compounce after riding one of the park's water slides. The slide, called Lake Plunge, carries riders sitting upon inner tubes through twists and turns and then sends them into the lake. Then, riders must paddle over to a dock, which sits in water about 10-12 feet deep. The boy fell off his raft as it entered the lake. Lifeguards found him a half-hour later, curled up in a fetal position at the bottom of the lake, beyond the dock, 15 feet below the surface. He never regained consciousness, and died one week later.

    "It was an accident that did not have to happen had they taken basic precautions," says the lawyer representing the mother. "The things they did and failed to do cost the child his life."

    The lawsuit claims that the park should have required children to use life jackets, and that the boy should not have been allowed to ride the slide because he was not tall enough to use the ride safely.

    While a spokesman for the park denies the allegations, a police investigation into the cause of the drowning concluded that the park and its employees did contribute to the child's death. Police also said that the boy's father was partly to blame for the accident.

    The lawsuit was filed in Hartford Superior Court.

    Since 1999, more people have died at Lake Compounce than at any other amusement park in the United States. In August 1999, an employee was killed after a ride struck him. The Connecticut Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited and fined the park for violations of safety regulations, saying that the park "did not furnish employment and a place of employment which were free from recognized hazards and that were causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees." Last month, another worker was struck by a roller coaster and killed. That accident is still under investigation.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    Bungee cord snaps on Texas thrill ride; 2 injured

    (Sunday, July 29, 2001) - At Zero Gravity Thrill amusement park in Dallas, Texas, two people were injured while riding a slingshot-type amusement ride after a bungee cord disengaged from the victim's car.

    The ride, a reverse-bungee catapult ride called the Texas Blastoff, consists of two 120-foot-high steel towers with a bungee cord connected to each. The cords are stretched toward the ground where they are attached to a caged steel vehicle in which riders are seated. The cords are then released from the vehicle, sending the riders on a high-speed vertical launch into midair.

    The riders were injured after one cord disengeged, leaving their vehicle swinging aimlessly in midair. They were then left stranded about 70 feet high until their vehicle was lowered back to the ground.

    One of the riders received 13 stitches in his leg.

    Similar rides have been banned in some areas for safety reasons.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    Riders trapped inside observation tower at Six Flags Elitch Gardens

    (Sunday, July 29, 2001) - At Six Flags Elitch Gardens theme park in Denver, Colorado, an elevator stalled near the top of the park's 250-foot-high observation tower. Twelve people were trapped inside the ride for an hour until firefighters rescued them. The passengers exited the ride through a hole which was drilled into the elevator by firefighters. They were then escorted down the stairs inside the tower and off the ride. None of the passengers was injured.

    The ride has been shut down.


    Another inflatable ride collapses; 5 injured

    (Saturday, July 28, 2001) - At a fair in Salem, Oregon, five people were injured when an inflatable slide called the Titanic collapsed. Police say that the ride's operator, Butler Amusements of Fairfield, California, did not properly anchor the ride to the ground.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    Operator error suspected in Branson USA accident; ride reopens

    (Saturday, July 28, 2001) - Inspectors say that the Firestorm roller coaster at Branson USA theme park in Branson, Missouri is in proper operating condition, and that they have found no evidence of mechanical failure or malfunction. The conclusion made by inspectors leaves operator error as the only explanation for the July 21 accident in which two of the ride's trains collided. Eight people were injured.

    The state has given the park permission to reopen the ride.

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  • Roller coaster malfunctions; 8 injured (7/21/01)


    Operator blamed for Yankee Cannonball accident; ride reopens

    (Saturday, July 28, 2001) - The New Hampshire Department of Safety says that yesterday's roller coaster accident at Canobie Lake Park in Salem was caused by a ride operator. Five people suffered minor injuries after two trains collided on the park's Yankee Cannonball roller coaster. They have all been released from a Massachusetts hospital.

    The accident happened when one of the trains failed to stop at the end of its run, continued through the station, then started up the lift hill, where the other train was being carried to the top. The two trains collided about halfway up the 55-foot-high lift hill.

    In a statement issued today, the state Department of Safety said, "It appears that the operator activating the brakes on the second train may have erred, for the second train rolled through the station and caught the incline chains."

    The park agrees, saying that the employee released a brake which should have been engaged.

    The ride reopened Friday night, after the Department inspected it and found no mechanical problems.

    Park officials say that the ride will operate with only one train until the state completes its investigation of the accident and all ride operators are recertified.

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  • Canobie Lake roller coaster accident injures 5 (7/27/01)


    Coroner's report exonerates Goliath

    (Friday, July 27, 2001) - The Los Angeles coroner’s office has released the autopsy report on the woman who died after riding a roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain theme park in Valencia, California in June. The report states that the victim, 28, was suffering from a “severe and fragile pre-existing aneurysm.” The coroner’s report goes on to confirm that the “exact mechanisms of causing the aneurysm to rupture are not known.”

    Although the coroner’s report claimed the ride was a “last straw” event, Dr. Hunt Batjer, chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at Northwestern University Medical School and chairman of the American Association of Neurosurgeons’ cerebral vascular surgery section said, “Brain hemorrhage, as happened with [the victim], has been documented to occur during all activities of normal life including sleep.”

    In addition, findings of the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration released June 13, 2001, stated that "the Department of Coroner has no evidence that the triggering stress [the victim] might have experienced at the amusement park was significantly different from other common stressful events that can trigger the rupture of an aneurysm. Consequently, the Department of the Coroner is not aware of any medical information or findings in the case of [the victim] indicating that the roller coaster she rode is unsafe for the general public.”

    “We were confident the LA coroner’s report would confirm that a roller coaster did not cause an aneurysm,” Del Holland, vice president and general manager, Six Flags Magic Mountain, said. “As we have said before, literally millions of people have safely ridden Goliath and we expect millions more to do the same.”

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  • Woman, 28, dies after ride on Goliath at Six Flags Magic Mountain (6/2/01)
  • Los Angeles coroner's office launches probe into woman's death; Six Flags closes Goliath (6/4/01)


    Canobie Lake roller coaster accident injures 5

    (Friday, July 27, 2001) - At Canobie Lake Park in Salem, New Hampshire, two roller coaster trains collided on the park's Yankee Cannonball roller coaster. The accident happened when one of the trains failed to stop at the end of its run, continued through the station, then started up the lift hill, where the second train was being carried to the top. The two trains collided about halfway up the 55-foot-high lift hill.

    Five people suffered minor injuries and were taken to a local hospital.

    The ride has been shut down. The accident is under investigation.


    Tilt-A-Whirl car derails

    (Thursday, July 26, 2001) - At the Highwood Festival Days fair in Highwood, Illinois, a Tilt-A-Whirl car derailed. Investigators say that an axle pin which held the car to its track came loose, causing the car to crash into a guardrail which borders the ride. Three children were in the car at the time of the accident, but none of them was seriously injured.

    The carnival is operated by Windy City Amusements of St. Charles, Illinois.

    The ride has been fixed and reopened.


    Man dies after accident on carnival ride

    (Thursday, July 26, 2001) - A 26-year-old man died from injuries he received in an accident at a New Jersey carnival on Tuesday. The man, a volunteer firefighter, was cleaning up the grounds after the midway had closed for the evening. At some point, he decided to ride a three-story slide, which was wet from heavy rains. Investigators say that the rain made the ride so slippery that the man bounced off the slope and flew into the air. He struck his head as he landed and lost consciousness.


    Jazzland roller coaster malfunctions; 9 injured

    (Tuesday, July 24, 2001) - At Jazzland amusement park in New Orleans, Louisiana, nine people suffered minor injuries after a mishap on the park's Zydeco Scream roller coaster. Riders were evacuated without incident and the ride has been shut down.


    Ride stalls; passengers stranded upside down

    (Monday, July 23, 2001) - At Chessington World of Adventures in Surrey, England, 40 people were trapped upside down after a ride somehow stalled. The accident happened on the park's Rameses Revenge ride, more commonly known as a Top Spin.

    Early reports indicate that passengers were panicking, but that there were no injuries.


    Roller coaster malfunctions; 8 injured

    (Saturday, July 21, 2001) - At Branson USA theme park in Branson, Missouri, two roller coaster trains collided after the ride's brakes failed. The accident happened on the park's Firestorm roller coaster.

    Eight people were taken to a local hospital, where they were treated and released.

    The ride has been shut down.


    Faulty assembly blamed for Myrtle Beach roller coaster accident

    (Friday, July 20, 2001) - An investigation by the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation has concluded that the Little Eagle roller coaster at Myrtle Beach Pavilion amusement park in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina malfunctioned last month because it was not properly assembled at the beginning of the season. Officials say that the June 21 accident happened after a retaining ring fell off the ride's train, causing one of the axles to shift and collide with the ride's braking mechanism, stopping the train abruptly. Five children were slightly injured.

    The ride opened in 1986. It is disassembled at the end of each operating season, and reassembled at the beginning of each season.

    The park has been given permission to reopen the ride.

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    Amusement ride laws tighten in New Jersey

    (Friday, July 20, 2001) - The acting governor of New Jersey, Donald DiFrancesco, has signed into law new amusement ride regulations, making the state's laws on amusement rides the tightest in the nation. The new bill, which amends the state's Carnival and Amusement Rides Safety Act, mandates that all amusement ride manufacturers obtain state permits and submit engineering plans for rides to state officials before their rides can operate. Manufacturers failing to comply with the new ordinance would be banned from the state.

    The bill also gives the state's Department of Community Affairs the power to levy punitive fines against the makers of defective rides. In addition, ride owners must now carry $1 million in liability coverage per accident -- that amount is up from $100,000 in coverage per operator.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    Carnival operator faces lawsuit

    (Friday, July 20, 2001) - The mother of a 6-year-old boy who was injured in a fall from a Scrambler ride at a carnival in Saddle Brook, New Jersey last year has filed a lawsuit against the carnival operator, claiming it did not adequately warn patrons of the potential dangers of the ride. The child was thrown 20 feet from the ride after he somehow slipped underneath the safety bar. He received a cut to his leg which required 200 stitches.

    The carnival operator, 21st Century Amusements, denies responsibility for the accident and says that its insurer will handle the case.

    State investigators inspected the ride immediately after the accident and found nothing mechanically wrong with it. They allowed the ride to reopen immediately.


    Six Flags New England faces lawsuit in 1999 Blizzard River accident

    (Friday, July 20, 2001) - Eight people who were injured when a raft capsized on the Blizzard River rapids ride at Riverside Park in Agawam, Massachusetts in 1999 have filed a lawsuit against the park, claiming that the park and its employees were negligent. The lawsuit claims, in part, that the park knew or should have known that Blizzard River rafts could capsize, and that it did not implement adequate safety procedures to protect riders from such potential dangers.

    In 1999, Riverside Park was owned by Premier Parks, which eventually changed its name to Six Flags Inc. after buying the Six Flags theme park chain. The park is now known as Six Flags New England.

    The action was filed in Worcestor Superior Court in Worcestor, Massachusetts.

    Six Flags declined to comment on the case.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    Riders stranded atop 255-foot high roller coaster

    (Wednesday, July 18, 2001) - At Six Flags Over Texas theme park in Arlington, Texas, 20 riders were left stranded atop the 255-foot high Titan roller coaster for nearly an hour after a sensor mistakenly tripped, causing the ride's safety system to stop the ride. Park employees escorted all of the riders off of the ride using steps which run adjacent to the lift hill. None of the riders was injured.

    The ride reopened later in the day.


    Another inflatable ride accident; 4 injured

    (Sunday, July 15, 2001) - At the Magdalena Oldtimers Rodeo in Magdalena, New Mexico, an inflatable children's ride was blown about 30 feet into the air, injuring four children. The accident may have been caused by sudden high winds, however investigators are questioning whether the ride was properly anchored.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    Park ordered to relocate flume ride

    (Wednesday, July 11, 2001) - After constructing a water ride within a few feet of electrical power lines, owners of Virginia Beach Amusement Park in Virginia Beach, Virginia were ordered to disassemble the ride and relocate it further away from the apparent hazard. The new 140-foot flume ride now stands 15 feet away from the power lines.


    Carnival worker crushed, killed

    (Tuesday, July 10, 2001) - A 27-year-old carnival worker was killed as he was preparing a Wipeout ride for operation at a carnival in Fisher, Illinois. The man was crushed by parts of the ride as he was performing routine maintenance.

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating.


    Woman, 41, killed in water slide accident

    (Thursday, July 5, 2001) - At Waterworld Safari water park in Phoenix, Arizona, a 41-year-old woman suffered fatal head injuries after falling from a water slide. The slide, one of the park's Kilimanjaro speed slides, is six stories high. Eyewitnesses say that the woman somehow flipped off the slide during her ride, fell onto the pavement underneath the support structure of an adjacent slide, and struck her head on a metal brace.

    The accident is under investigation. The park plans to reopen the slide on Friday.


    Carnival worker dies after accident

    (Saturday, June 30, 2001) - A 27-year-old carnival worker died from head and spinal injuries he received in a fall from a carnival ride. The accident happened on June 24. The man fell 15 feet while dismantling a Chair Plane ride after a carnival in Dane, Wisconsin. He was an employee of Colonel's Rides of Janesville, Wisconsin.


    Ride tips over at Busch Gardens; 2 injured

    (Tuesday, June 26, 2001) - At Busch Gardens theme park in Tampa Bay, Florida, two people were injured in an accident on the park's Rhino Rally ride. The accident happened when one of the ride's vehicles rolled over, spilling its passengers on the ground. Some passengers walked away with minor bruises, but two were treated at a hospital.

    Rhino Rally opened in May. It was shut down after the accident and will remain closed indefinitely.


    Inflatable ride tips over at Michigan carnival; 2 children injured

    (Sunday, June 24, 2001) - At a carnival in Canton Township, Michigan, two children were injured after an inflatable ride tipped over. The ride was not secured to the ground.

    The children's injuries included a broken wrist, cuts and bruises.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    Ride collapses at New York park; 12 injured

    (Saturday, June 23, 2001) - At Bullwinkle's Family Fun center in Medford, New York, a swing ride collapsed, injuring twelve people. The victims were treated at local hospitals, and none of their injuries appears to be life-threatening.

    The ride was in operation at the time it collapsed.

    Investigators will determine whether the weight of the riders was evenly balanced and whether the base of the ride was properly secured to the ground.


    Roller coaster malfunctions; five injured

    (Thursday, June 21, 2001) - At Myrtle Beach Pavilion amusement park in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, a kiddie roller coaster stopped abruptly, leaving five children slightly injured. Witnesses say that the passengers on the ride, which travels less then 12 miles per hour, were pushed forward into their safety bars as the ride halted.

    At least one child was taken to a medical center as a precautionary measure.

    The ride, called the Little Eagle, is closed, pending an inspection by the South Carolina Labor and Licensing Department.


    Roller coaster accident kills one, injures 3

    (Thursday, June 21, 2001) - A 20-year-old woman has died from injuries she suffered in a roller coaster accident at Lightwater Valley theme park in North Yorkshire, England. The accident happened on Wednesday. Two cars collided on the park's new Tree Top Twister spinning steel roller coaster.

    The woman died from severe head and spinal injuries she sustained in the crash. Three other people were also injured, including one man who suffered a broken arm.

    Health and safety officials are investigating.

    The ride opened in May.


    Disney settles brain hemorrhage lawsuit; injury data will remain secret

    (Wednesday, June 20, 2001) - Disneyland has settled a lawsuit with a woman who claims she suffered a brain hemorrhage on the park's Indiana Jones ride. The settlement comes just six days before the park was required to submit detailed injury records to a Los Angeles Superior Court. Those records will now remain secret. The details of the settlement are also secret.

    In June 1999, Disneyland settled a similar lawsuit with another woman who claimed she suffered a brain injury as a result of riding Indiana Jones. The details of that settlement were also kept secret.

    Court documents show that over 300 people have reported being injured on Indiana Jones in the past three years.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    Sensor malfunction blamed for Lake Compounce Zoomerang mishap

    (Tuesday, June 19, 2001) - Investigators have determined that Thursday's mishap on the Zoomerang roller coaster at Lake Compounce amusement park in Bristol, Connecticut was caused by a sensor malfunction. The sensor failed to communicate properly with the ride's automatic braking system, allowing the train of cars to continue on its own energy until it came to rest in a section of track 60 feet in the air. Twenty-six passengers were left stranded in their seats until firefighters evacuated the ride. None of the passengers was injured.

    The sensor has been replaced and the ride has been reopened.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    State allows Six Flags to reopen Goliath

    (Thursday, June 14, 2001) - After 10 days of testing by investigators, the Goliath roller coaster has reopened at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California. The California Department of Industrial Relations has given the park permission to reopen the ride after test results indicated that the ride is operating according to its manufacturer's specifications and design.

    On June 2, a 28-year-old woman collapsed during a ride on Goliath and later died. The cause of her death is under investigation.

    RELATED STORY:

  • Woman, 28, dies after ride on Goliath at Six Flags Magic Mountain (6/2/01)


    Riders trapped after Lake Compounce roller coaster malfunctions

    (Thursday, June 14, 2001) - At Lake Compounce amusement park in Bristol, Connecticut, a problem with the Zoomerang roller coaster left 26 passengers trapped in their seats until the ride could be evacuated with the help of local firefighters. The Zoomerang is a looping steel roller coaster, most commonly known as a boomerang coaster.

    A statement from Lake Compounce said that the train failed to stop on its return run to the station, passed through the station, then continued partially up the initial lift hill. The momentum of the train then carried it back through the station and through an inversion, after which it stalled. The train came to rest in a relatively level area of track, between two inversions.

    Some of the riders were trapped for nearly 2 hours. None of the passengers was injured.

    The incident comes just one day after an accident on another roller coaster at the park killed an employee. On Wednesday, a grounds worker was killed after he was struck by the Boulder Dash roller coaster while working underneath the ride. That accident is under investigation.

    Zoomerang is closed pending repairs, and Boulder Dash is closed pending an investigation by police, the state fire marshal, the park, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    Lake Compounce employee given no notice that coaster would be running, say co-workers

    (Thursday, June 14, 2001) - Co-workers of the man who was struck and killed by a roller coaster at Lake Compounce Amusement Park in Bristol, Connecticut yesterday say that they were not warned to clear the path of the ride before it began the fatal test run.

    "They never told us to get out," said one co-worker.

    "I don't know why they didn't ask us [to move]," said another co-worker. "Usually they ask us to move."

    The accident happened at about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday morning on the park's Boulder Dash roller coaster, which reaches speeds of more than 60 miles per hour. The 23-year-old employee was struck by one of the ride's trains as he was trimming weeds underneath the wooden structure of the ride. He was wearing plugs in his ears to protect them from the noise of the loud weed-cutting equipment he was using at the time, and was unable to hear the oncoming train rolling toward him. Authorities pronounced the man dead at the scene.

    One of the victim's co-workers also claimed that neither he nor the victim was given safety training by Lake Compounce before they began working as members of the park's grounds crew a month ago.

    "They just told me how to deal with customers, in case a customer gets mad," said the man to a reporter from Fox's WTIC-TV of Hartford.

    Richard Bisi, spokesman for Lake Compounce, said that all employees are given safety training before they begin work at the park.

    Lake Compounce opened as usual Wednesday morning, a half-hour after the accident.

    Boulder Dash is closed pending an investigation by police, the state fire marshal's office, the park, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

    "We're ruling nothing out," said a state police spokesman.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    Roller coaster accident kills Lake Compounce worker; third death at park in less than 2 years

    (Wednesday, June 13, 2001) - A 23-year-old maintenance worker was killed after a roller coaster train struck him at Lake Compounce amusement park in Bristol, Connecticut. The accident happened on the park's Boulder Dash roller coaster. The man was struck while the ride was being tested before opening, and no passengers were aboard.

    The Southington, Connecticut police department, the state fire marshal's office, and Lake Compounce are investigating the accident.

    The fatality is the park's third in less than two years.

    On July 1, 2000, a 6-year-old boy fell off his inner tube while riding the park's Lake Plunge water slide. Lifeguards found him a half-hour later, curled up in a fetal position at the bottom of the lake, beyond the dock, 15 feet below the surface of the water. He never regained consciousness, and died one week later. A police investigation later concluded that the park, its employees, and the boy's parent all shared the blame for the child's death.

    On August 21, 1999, a 16-year-old park employee died from injuries he suffered from an accident on the park's Tornado ride a day earlier. He was struck by the ride and dragged underneath it. The incident led the state's Occupational Safety and Health and Administration (OSHA) to cite and fine Lake Compounce, saying that the park failed to use "feasible and acceptable methods" to prevent employees from entering the area of ride rotation. The citation also said that Lake Compounce "did not furnish employment and a place of employment which were free from recognized hazards and that were causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees."

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    Eight riders treated for inhaling chlorine fumes at Paramount's Carowinds

    (Saturday, June 9, 2001) - Eight people were treated for eye irritation and breathing problems after they inhaled chlorine fumes while riding the"Carolinas' Ramblin River raft ride at Paramount's Carowinds theme park in Charlotte, North Carolina. All were treated at a local hospital and released within hours.

    The riders were exposed to the fumes in a tunnel in which curtains drip water onto passengers. Park officials believe that the curtains may have held the chlorine fumes in the tunnel.

    The curtains have been removed from the attraction.

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  • Seven hospitalized after chlorine spill at Six Flags Fiesta Texas (7/8/00)


    Fire destroys bumper car ride at Maine amusement park; no injuries

    (Saturday, June 9, 2001) - An apparent electrical malfunction triggered a fire which destroyed the Dodgem Cars bumper car ride at Palace Playland amusement park in Old Orchard Beach, Maine. Officials believe that the fire started in the ceiling of the ride either while the ride was operating, or just as passengers were preparing to board the ride.

    Several adjacent rides were closed as firefighters worked to put the fire out and no one was injured.


    Another raft capsizes on Visionland's Wild River Gorge ride

    (Wednesday, June 6, 2001) - For the second time in two years, a raft capsized on the Wild River Gorge ride at Visionland theme park in Birmingham, Alabama. The raft, which spilled its five passengers into the water, bumped another boat at some point during the course of its ride, however park officials have not determined whether that collision contributed to the accident. None of the passengers was injured.

    On July 29, 1999, a raft flipped over on the same ride because it bumped into another raft. It was determined that ride operators were allowing boats to travel too close together.

    The accident marks the fifth time in a little more than two years that a raft has capsized on a river rapids ride in the United States. At least 23 people have been injured in these accidents, including one person who was killed.

    Wild River Gorge has been shut down pending an investigation.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    Coroner's office launches probe into woman's death; Goliath closed

    (Monday, June 4, 2001) - The Senior Deputy Medical Examiner of the Los Angeles Department of Coroner has ordered further testing and studies in the case of the woman who died after riding the Goliath roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain theme park in Valencia, California on Saturday. Initially, the autopsy report stated that the woman died as a result of a ruptured aneurysm of a cerebral artery and a hemorrhage around the brain stem, and that her death "was due to an accident on the ride," however the coroner's office now says that the release of the report was premature, and a cause of death is not expected until 4 to 6 weeks, when the results of toxicological and neuropathological testing are conclusive.

    A park spokesman has called the death "a very unfortunate occurrence."

    Initially, the state gave the park permission to continue operation of the ride, but after the coroner's report was released, the park was ordered to shut the ride down. The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating.

    6/4 STATEMENT FROM THE LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF CORONER:
    On June 3, 2001, the Department of Coroner performed an examination on Ms. Pearl Santos who was reportedly found unresponsive after riding an attraction at a local amusement park on June 2, 2001. The Senior Deputy Medical Examiner has ordered additional testing and studies. The additional testing includes a toxicological screen and neuropathological studies. An earlier release of information regarding the cause of death was premature. Information that the attraction was directly responsible for the death was also premature. The final cause, mode, and manner of death have not been finalized. Until all testing and studies have been completed, the cause of death is DEFERRED. The autopsy report will not be available for release until the case is closed. It is estimated that the case will close in 4 to 6 weeks once all test results have been received.

    RELATED STORIES:

  • Woman, 28, dies after ride on Goliath at Six Flags Magic Mountain (6/2/01)


    One dead, one injured in bungee ride accident

    (Sunday, June 3, 2001) - A 22-year-old woman was killed and one man sustained serious injuries in a bungee ride accident in France. The two riders jumped from a viaduct and crashed into the ground after their bungee cord snapped. Police report that the bungee cord was not designed to hold the weight of two people.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    Woman, 28, dies after ride on Goliath at Six Flags Magic Mountain

    (Saturday, June 2, 2001) - A 28-year-old woman was found unconscious at the end of her ride on the Goliath roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain theme park in Valencia, California. She was treated by park and county paramedics, then rushed to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.

    A preliminary investigation indicates that the woman was in good health, had no history of health problems, and that the ride was operating normally.

    Goliath is a 255-foot-high steel roller coaster which opened last year. The 3-minute ride reaches speeds of up to 85 miles per hour.

    Six Flags closed the ride in response to the incident, but reopened it hours later with permission from the state of California.

    Authorities have scheduled an autopsy to determine the cause of death.


    Six Flags Fiesta Texas roller coaster malfunctions; 2 injured

    (Monday, May 28, 2001) - At Six Flags Fiesta Texas theme park in San Antonio, Texas, two girls were injured when a roller coaster ride malfunctioned. The accident happened toward the beginning of the ride, as the train of cars was released from the top of the ride's first lift hill. The girls' car separated from the train, jerked backward and forward, then came to an abrupt stop.

    The passengers suffered only minor injuries.

    The ride, a looping roller coaster named Boomerang Coast to Coaster, has been shut down. Fiesta Texas inspectors and officials from the ride's manufacturer are investigating.


    North Carolina slide was uninspected and overloaded, says state

    (Friday, May 25, 2001) - Investigators from the North Carolina Department of Labor say that an inflatable slide that tipped over on Monday at a carnival in Charlotte was overloaded with children. They also say that the ride's owner, Master Rental of Asheville, North Carolina, violated state law by not filing a notice of insurance on the ride with the state, by not informing the state that the ride would be set up, and by not filing documentation as to whether employees had been properly trained to supervise the ride.

    Nine children were injured when the ride collapsed, none seriously.

    In an interview with the Charlotte Observer, the owner of Master Rental says that he was unaware that his equipment was regulated by the state of North Carolina. He also refused to disclose how long his company has been operating in Asheville.

    "We're complying with authorities. I can't say anything else."

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    Six Flags Worlds of Adventure closes ride

    (Friday, May 25, 2001) - A section of the Hook's Lagoon attraction at Six Flags Worlds of Adventure theme park in Aurora, Ohio, will not open with the rest of the park's water rides this weekend. Park officials say that an area of Hook's Lagoon will remain closed until an investigation into a near-drowning last year is complete.

    Hook's Lagoon is described as a "water playground area" of the Six Flags Hurricane Harbor water park, which features water slides, lagoons, waterfalls, and other similar attractions. In August, an 11-year-old girl nearly drowned in Hook's Lagoon when she was sucked into an underwater drainage pipe which was covered by a broken grate. She was underwater for nearly four minutes before being rescued.

    Investigators from the Ohio Department of Agriculture reported that the pumps were draining water at twice the rate specified by the ride's designer and manufacturer. The park has filed a lawsuit against the state, disputing its findings, but says that it will keep the section of the ride closed until their appeal of the state's findings is resolved in court.


    Industry helps defeat carnival ride safety bill

    (Wednesday, May 23, 2001) - A bill which aimed to improve safety standards for carnival rides in Texas has failed to make it to a vote in the Texas House of Representatives. Lobbyists for the amusement industry fought against the legislation, which would have created an advisory board to monitor and develop safety standards for carnival rides and require that all carnival rides be inspected every 180 days. They said it would cost carnival operators too much money.

    The Texas Senate had already approved the bill.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    Another inflatable ride collapses; 9 children injured

    (Monday, May 21, 2001) - At a carnival in Charlotte, North Carolina, nine children were injured after an inflatable slide collapsed. Most of the children landed in the parking lot or on top of each other and received only minor injuries.

    The ride, called the Titanic, is owned by Master Rental of Asheville, North Carolina.

    The North Carolina Department of Labor is investigating the accident.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    Another inflatable ride collapses; 3 children injured

    (Sunday, May 20, 2001) - In Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, three children were injured when an inflatable ride called the Titanic collapsed.

    The Nova Scotia Department of Labor is investigating.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    Accident at Six Flags Marine World injures woman

    (Saturday, May 12, 2001) - A woman received minor injuries after falling from an amusement ride at Six Flags Marine World in Vallejo, California. The ride, named Starfish, is more commonly known as the Trabant. Passengers ride in cars which surround a platform which lifts and tilts while it rotates. It is not yet known how the woman fell from her car.

    The ride remains closed while officials from the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Six Flags, and Chance Rides, the manufacturer of the ride, investigate.


    NO DEFENSE: AMUSEMENT INDUSTRY'S "SAFETY MAN OF THE CENTURY" PLEADS GUILTY IN TEXAS HIMALAYA DEATH

    (Friday, May 11, 2001) - On behalf of his company Bob G. Gill and Associates, Bob Gill has pled guilty to manslaughter charges which resulted from the 1998 Texas Himalaya fatality at the Austin-Travis County Livestock Show and Rodeo. Fifteen-year-old Leslie Lane was killed while riding the Himalaya, which was owned and operated by B&B Amusements of Yuma, Arizona. Her safety bar broke off her car at every point of attachment. She was thrown from her seat into a wall and killed. The Himalaya had been inspected by Gill's company just ten days earlier.

    An Austin, Texas court accepted Gill's plea, and fined his company $30,000. In addition, Gill pleaded guilty on his own behalf to a misdemeanor charge and was fined $100.

    When Gill inspected the Himalaya ride on March 9, 1998, he found that four of the ride's cars had broken locking mechanisms and another car had a broken seat. He ordered that those cars not be used, but allowed the ride to open.

    Lane's safety bar broke on March 19, 1998, the same day that three other passengers reported another broken safety bar after they had ridden in another car. In addition, police investigators found two other cars on the ride with no locking devices on them at all. They also witnessed three more locking devices break off of cars when they went to operate the ride after the accident to test speeds. For a complete description of the condition of the Himalaya, click here.

    Gill remains a member of the board of directors of the National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials and was given the organization's "Man of the Century" award last year for his "dedication to ride safety."

    Gill's company is no longer in business.

    Gill is now employed by Farrow Shows of Jackson, Mississippi.

    B&B Amusements, which also pled guilty to manslaughter charges late last year, still operates amusement rides.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    Woman, 45, killed in fall from Ferris wheel

    (Thursday, May 10, 2001) - In Chicago, Illinois, a 45-year-old woman was killed after falling 150 feet from the top of a Ferris wheel. The death has been ruled a suicide.


    Roller coaster malfunctions; 2 injured

    (Sunday, May 6, 2001) - At Fujikyu Highland amusement park in Fujiyoshida, Japan, two people were seriously injured after a roller coaster malfunctioned. The accident happened on the park's Birdmen roller coaster, a flying coaster that features cars in which passengers ride while lying down. The cars are suspended from an overhead track.

    Police say that a steel axle on one of the cars broke toward the end of the ride, causing the wheels of the car to derail. The riders were injured when the car stopped abruptly, throwing them forward into a safety device. They were left dangling about 25 feet off the ground for some time, until they were rescued by a crane.

    The riders suffered serious injuries including hipbone fractures, and are not expected to recover for six months.

    The accident is under investigation.


    Roller coaster fire blamed on electrical wiring

    (Friday, May 4, 2001) - German police investigators say they have discovered pieces of cable which indicate that a short circuit likely caused Tuesday's fire at Phantasialand in Bruehl which injured 63 people. They now plan to determine whether the short circuit resulted from faulty equipment or faulty installation.

    The park remains closed.

    RELATED STORIES:

  • Roller coaster blaze injures 63 (5/1/01)


    Knott's Berry Farm ordered to improve safety procedures

    (Thursday, May 3, 2001) - The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) has ordered Knott's Berry Farm theme park in Buena Park, California to implement new safety procedures for employees who work on the park's Calico Railroad ride. The action comes as a result of a three-month investigation into a January 27 accident in which an employee was injured after falling underneath the cowcatcher of the train locomotive and dragged 50 feet. The 62-year-old employee suffered multiple fractures to one leg and a broken foot on his other leg.

    OSHA has ordered the park to implement a new system for employees to use to signal to each other in a "specific, consistent, and unambiguous" way, indicating that there are no people or obstacles in the path of the train. Park officials say that such a system has already been implemented.

    The park was not cited or fined.


    Roller coaster blaze injures 63

    (Tuesday, May 1, 2001) - At Phantasialand Park in Bruehl, Germany, at least 63 people were injured after a fire broke out on the Grand Canyon bobsled roller coaster. Police estimate that there were 150 people riding the coaster and an adjacent ride at the time the fire broke out, and an additional 600 people standing in line. Some riders jumped off the ride to safety, while others escaped the ride with the help of ladders provided by firefighters. Officials say that over 100 fire trucks and ambulances and more than 400 volunteer firefighters and emergency personnel responded to the blaze, which burned for two hours. The roller coaster was completely destroyed, as were several other attractions, including the adjacent "Gebirgsbahn" mountain railway roller coaster, the "Tanagra Theatre," located in the park's Chinatown area, and several other attractions in the Silver City western-themed section of the park. Total damage is estimated at $13.7 million.

    In their attempt to flee the area, many of Phantasialand's 20,000 visitors dodged burning sections of the mostly wooden structure, which blew across the park, landing up to 300 feet away.

    "We were running. We didn't know if huge burning walls would fall on us. It was mass panic," said one eyewitness, the Associated Press reports.

    Many people jumped fences to escape the park, which was later completely evacuated, and one section of park fencing had even been torn down.

    "We just barely avoided a catastrophe," said Cologne, Germany police director Winrich Granitzka.

    The cause of the fire is yet to be determined, but one park spokesman says that because the ride's emergency brakes activated, there is reason to believe that a cable fire in one of the ride's cars may have triggered the blaze. Experts say that no signs of arson have been found.

    The ride, manufactured by Schwarzkopf of Germany, is also known as the Bobsleigh. It was built in 1975.

    In 1996, another roller coaster fire at Phantasialand injured 5 people.

    The park, one of Europe's largest, will remain closed until the weekend of May 12 and 13, when it will reopen with a reduced ticket price.

    For photos of the park fire, see http://www.phantaweb.de/n18.html.
    For photos of the ride as it stood before the fire, see http://schwarzkopf.coaster.net/ESbobbahn1GF.htm.

  • Carnival worker, 43, killed in fall from Ferris wheel

    (Monday, April 30, 2001) - At the Merced County Spring Fairgrounds in Los Banos, California, a 43-year-old carnival worker was killed after falling from a Ferris wheel ride he was cleaning. The man, an employee of Butler Amusements, struck two of the ride's cars in his 20-foot-fall and ultimately landed on the ride's metal control panel. It is believed that the man was swinging from car to car in an attempt to move the ride manually, enabling workers on the ground to clean each car as the wheel turned. The ride had not yet been connected to its power source.

    The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating.


    Ride malfunction leaves 9 stranded at Florida park

    (Sunday, April 21, 2001) - At Fun Spot amusement park in Orange County, Florida, 9 people were left stranded more than 80 feet in the air after a ride malfunctioned. The ride, called 1001 Knights, consists of a platform which lifts seated riders about 90 feet into the air in a circular motion. Park officials say that the ride's gears jammed.

    Firefighters used ladder trucks to rescue the riders.

    No one was injured, however one woman, who was pregnant, was sent to a hospital for observation.


    Anaheim paramedics to be permanently stationed at Disneyland parks

    (Friday, April 20, 2001) - Disney has announced its plan to station four full-time paramedics from the Anaheim, California fire department at both its Disneyland and California Adventure theme parks. A spokesman for Disney says that the action, which will cost the parks $1.4 million annually, will enable paramedics to respond more quickly to park emergencies.

    Anaheim fire department officials support the plan, which could go into effect as early as next week.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    Man thrown from fair ride, killed

    (Wednesday, April 18, 2001) - At the Abu Dhabi Fun Fair by the Sea in the United Arab Emirates, a 30-year-old man was killed after being flung from an amusement ride. The ride, which spins horizontally and vertically through 360 degrees, was operating at such high speeds that the man landed on a nearby road. He was rushed to a local hospital, but declared dead on arrival.

    Investigators are determining whether the restraining bar unlocked during the ride, and whether it had been locked before the ride started.

    The ride is owned by UK Fun Fair.


    Carnival ride safety bill passes Texas Senate

    (Wednesday, April 18, 2001) - A bill which would require the state of Texas to inspect carnival rides every 180 days has passed the state Senate. Senate Bill 1622, sponsored by Senator Gonzalo Barrientos (D-Austin), requires the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation to hire qualified, private ride inspectors to carry out the provisions of the law. The bill now heads to the House of Representatives.

    The action comes in response to the 1998 Himalaya ride accident at the Austin-Travis Livestock Show and Rodeo. Fifteen-year-old Leslie Lane was killed when her safety bar broke off her car. The owner of the ride, B&B Amusements of Yuma, Arizona, pled guilty to manslaughter charges in connection with the accident. B&B Amusements is the first company in American history to be held criminally responsible for negligence resulting in the death of a rider. The company which inspected the ride, Bob G. Gill & Associates, still faces manslaughter charges.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    National Amusement Park Ride Safety Act of 2001 introduced to Congress

    (Wednesday, April 4, 2001) - Congressman Edward Markey (D-Massachusetts) has introduced the National Amusement Park Ride Safety Act of 2001 to the United States House of Representatives. Markey is joined by Representatives Connie Morella (R-Maryland), John Tierney (D-Massachusetts), Carolyn Maloney (D-New York), Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts), Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), Cynthia McKinney (D-Georgia), Tom Lantos (D-California), and Julia Carson (D-Indiana), all of whom are co-sponsoring the legislation.

    The bill, H.R. 1488, would restore the jurisdiction of the National Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) over amusement park rides operating in the United States. Markey calls the bill "a modest restoration of safety to all parkgoers."

    At present, the CPSC only has jurisdiction over carnival rides which move from state to state. The CPSC used to regulate all ride operation, including that of fixed-site amusement park rides, however, in 1981, Congress exempted all fixed-site amusement rides from federal regulation.

    "It is shocking to realize that one-third of all roller coasters in this country are never inspected by any public safety official at all," said Markey.

    "To me, it is inexcusable that when someone dies or is seriously injured on these rides, there is no system in place to ensure that the ride is investigated, the causes determined, and the flaws fixed, not just on that ride, but on every similar ride in every other state."

    Markey's legislation would give the CPSC the authority to set standards for rides, perform inspections, investigate accidents, recall unsafe equipment, impose civil penalties, and would appropriate $500,000 annually to enable the CPSC to accomplish those tasks. The CPSC supports the legislation.

    Markey had submitted the legislation to the U.S. House in the last congressional session, but it never made its way to the House floor due to time constraints. There were 47 Democrats and 6 Republicans who joined Markey in co-sponsoring the bill last year.

    The amusement industry opposes any federal attempts to improve safety at theme parks, and is fighting against Markey's legislation.

    Organizations in support of the National Amusement Ride Safety Act include: the Consumer Federation of America, the Consumers Union, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, the National SAFE KIDS Campaign, the American Council on Consumer Awareness, and various consumer and public safety councils across the country.

    The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    Boy, 2, injured in fall from carnival ride

    (Sunday, March 25, 2001) - At a carnival in Cherryville, North Carolina, a 2-year-old boy received minor injuries after falling from a children's ride. The ride features cars which carry passengers around a circular track. After the child fell out of his car, the car behind him struck him and ran him over. The boy was wearing a seat belt.

    Officials from the North Carolina Department of Labor are investigating the accident.

    The ride is owned by Smoky Mountain Amusements of Robbinsville, North Carolina.


    Skydiver ride rips girls hair from head

    (Monday, March 19, 2001) - A 7-year-old girl received minor injuries when some of her hair got ripped from her head while she was riding a Skydiver ride at a carnival in Charlotte, North Carolina. The ride consists of caged seats which spin as the ride itself, which operates like a Ferris wheel, turns. The girl lost two patches of hair as well as two hair extensions. She was taken to an area hospital after the accident, where she was treated and released.

    Officials from the North Carolina Elevator and Amusement Device Inspection Bureau are investigating the accident and say that they are unaware of any other similar incidents.

    The carnival owners, who also say they have never heard of any similar cases, have agreed to pay all of the girl's medical expenses.


    One killed, 12 injured in inflatable ride accident

    (Monday, March 11, 2001) - An 8-year-old girl has died from massive head injuries she received when an inflatable ride detatched from its grounding cables and flew up into the air. The accident happened at a carnival in Kapunda, Australia on Sunday.

    Officials say that a strong, freak gust of wind lifted the ride about 10 feet into the air, and that they will focus their investigation on the cables used to secure the ride to the ground.

    Twelve other people were also injured in the accident, including 11 children, five of whom remain hospitalized.

    The South Australian Workplace Services department is issuing an alert to other amusement ride operators, warning them of the potential dangers that changes in weather conditions can have on inflatable rides.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    Go-cart track operator banned in Illinois

    (Thursday, February 8, 2001) - The owner of a company which operates the Illinois go-cart track facility at which a 3-year-old girl was killed last year has been banned from doing business in the state. A state judge has granted a petition by the Illinois Labor Department, and a permanent injunction has been ordered against Arkansas-based Opussum Grape, Inc., which operated five go-cart tracks in Illinois.

    The girl died at the company's Hi-Speed Race Karts track in Palatine, Illinois. The car in which she and her 21-year-old mother were riding collided with another car which had spun out directly in front of them. The girl was riding in between her mother's legs at the time of the accident. When the two cars collided, she was crushed between the steering wheel and her mother's body. None of the go-carts had seat belts.

    The Labor Department successfully argued that the company failed to report several injuries at its tracks in violation of state law, and that last summer's incident was not reported until a week after the accident. Illinois law requires that such injuries be reported within 24 hours.

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  • Girl, 3, killed in Illinois go-cart crash (7/1/00)


    New Jersey ride owner cited for 16 safety violations, fined $24,250

    (Wednesday, February 7, 2001) - The owner of a New Jersey haunted house ride which injured a worker in an accident last summer has been cited for 16 safety violations and fined $24,250 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of New Jersey (OSHA). The ride, called Monster Mash, is owned by a company called the Strand Corporation and is located at 3102 Boardwalk in Wildwood. In August, a 19-year-old employee lost the lower part of his left leg after he got it caught in the ride's track.

    The OSHA investigation found that the ride was operated with openings between the edge of the catwalk and the edge of the ride surface, and along the ride surface itself, and that employees who were working inside the ride could fall through the openings into moving machine parts or onto parts of the ride support structure.

    OSHA also cited the owners for failing to properly train employees in the use of fire extinguishers and "in the safe operation and procedures associated with working on and/or near the moving cars or other hazardous machinery of the ride."

    The owners were also cited for blocking exits, blocking exit signs, partially obstructing the ride path and catwalk areas, improperly storing combustible materials, electrical hazards, and for using room partitions that were not made from flame retardant materials.

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  • Worker loses leg in haunted house accident (8/16/00)


    New Disneyland ride malfunctions; riders evacuated

    (Saturday, February 3, 2001) - At Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, California, riders were evacuated from the Soarin' Over California ride in the new California Adventure section of the park.

    The ride consists of a movie theater with an IMAX screen and 90 seats, which lift and move as riders watch a movie filled with the sights and sounds of hang-gliding. The incident is being blamed on an electrical amplifier, which is connected to the ride control panel located in the basement of the building. The amplifier unit overheated, sending smoke through the ventilation system and into the theater, triggering off a fire alarm.

    The riders, who were previewing the ride before its official opening on Thursday, were not injured.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    Ride operator blamed for latest Disneyland accident

    (Thursday, February 1, 2001) - The California State Department of Industrial Relations has determined that it is "pretty obvious" that Tuesday's accident on Disneyland's Pirates of the Carribean ride, which left one woman injured, is the fault of the ride operator. Investigators say that the boat in which the woman was riding stopped prematurely, causing her to fall and strike her head.

    The state ordered the park to review proper ride operating procedures with its employees before it reopened the ride. Disneyland spokesman Ray Gomez says that procedures were reviewed, and the ride has been reopened.

    Disneyland ride operators were also faulted for a September 22 accident on the Roger Rabbit Car Toon Spin ride which left a 4-year-old severely brain damaged. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) determined that the boy's lap bar was "probably" not fully lowered when he fell out of the car, and that ride operators failed to properly seat the boy in the car.

    Disney's safety policy for the Roger Rabbit ride states that children should be seated on the outside of each car, where there is no opening. Instead, the boy was seated on the inside of the car, next to an unprotected opening which allows passengers to get in and out of the car. In its report, OSHA concluded "the most likely explanation for the accident is that the child fell through the entrance to the car." The child ended up falling out of his car, then got pinned underneath a trailing car after it struck him.

    The Roger Rabbit ride remains closed, pending the park's implementation of state-ordered safety modifications.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    Disneyland closes Pirates of the Carribean ride after accident

    (Tuesday, January 30, 2001) - A woman was injured at Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, California when she fell and struck her head on the park's Pirates of the Carribean ride. The woman's boat lurched forward suddenly as she was exiting the ride. She fell and hit her head on a bench.

    The victim was taken to an area hospital where she was treated for head and neck pain, and possibly a concussion.

    Disneyland has reported the accident to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, and the ride has been shut down pending a safety evaluation.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    Accident at Knott's Berry Farm injures employee

    (Saturday, January 27, 2001) - At Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, California, an employee was seriously injured on the Calico Railroad ride when he somehow got trapped underneath the cowcatcher of the locomotive. The accident is reported to have happened just as the train was beginning its course.

    The victim, who was working as the train's conductor, was freed by firefighters who used the Jaws of Life to lift the train off of him. He was then airlifted to UCI Medical Center in Orange, California where he was hospitalized with multiple fractures to one leg, and a fractured foot on his other leg. While his injuries are serious, a hospital spokeswoman says they are not life-threatening, and that the man is not in danger of losing a leg.

    In 1996, a 56-year-old man was killed while working as the conductor of the Calico Railroad. He was crushed to death while trying to separate two of the ride's steam-engine train cars.

    The Calico Railroad is now closed, pending an investigation by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

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  • California woman wins suit against Knott's Berry Farm (2/22/99)
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  • Rider's jacket jams coaster at California park (9/23/00)


    CPSC to investigate latest Disneyland accident

    (Wednesday, January 24, 2001) - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that it will investigate Sunday's accident at Disneyland in which a 6-year-old girl lost a portion of her left index finger. The accident happened on the park's Tom Sawyer Island playground attraction, in a section called Fort Wilderness. The girl's finger was severed as she was playing with a toy rifle, slipped, and fell to the ground. Apparently, her finger got caught and severed by the trigger mechanism of the gun she was holding. She was taken to a local hospital, where she was told that doctors would not be able to reattach the finger.

    The commission says it wants to determine whether the non-mechanical playground equipment used in the Tom Sawyer Island attraction is safe.

    Under new state law, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) has the authority to investigate most accidents at amusement parks, however, it only has jurisdiction over mechanical rides. Since the Tom Sawyer Island attraction is not a mechanical amusement ride as defined by law, OSHA does not have the authority to investigate.

    The CPSC says that while it does not have the authority to investigate amusement ride accidents at theme parks, it does have jurisdiction over most other devices, including playground equipment like that used in the Tom Sawyer Island attraction. The commission maintains that it has the authority to recall the equipment if they deem it unsafe.

    "If it's not an amusement ride, we can investigate," says Jane Francis, spokeswoman for the CPSC.

    "Our concern is whether a piece of equipment is safe. If there's a defect with the equipment, we need to look into it."

    Disneyland says that its own inspection of the equipment showed that everything was operating normally, and park officials are questioning whether the CPSC has jurisdiction to investigate the accident.

    Disneyland has decided to close the Fort Wilderness section of the Tom Sawyer Island attraction during the investigation.

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    Girl, 6, loses finger in Disneyland accident

    (Sunday, January 21, 2001) - A 6-year-old girl lost a portion of her left index finger in an accident on the Tom Sawyer Island playground attraction at Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, California. The girl's finger was severed as she was playing with a toy rifle, slipped, and fell to the ground. Her finger got caught and severed by the trigger mechanism of the gun she was holding. She was taken to a local hospital, where she was told that doctors would not be able to reattach her finger.

    Park officials have inspected the equipment and say that everything was operating properly at the time of the accident.

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    Boy, 2, loses thumb on kiddie ride at Florida fair

    (Friday, January 19, 2001) - At the South Florida Fair in Royal Palm Beach, Florida, a 2-year-old boy had his thumb cut off after falling down inside Lily's Palace, a kiddie fun house ride. The child's thumb was severed after he landed it between a rotating turntable and the floor of the ride. State inspectors found no mechanical problems with the ride. The operators of the ride, Conklin Shows, acknowledge that another child had cut two fingers in a similar accident on the ride last year, and they have disconnected the turntable.

    The fair runs through January 28.

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    Six Flags ordered to pay $450,000 to riders trapped in 1998 Demon accident

    (Tuesday, January 16, 2001) - A federal jury has ordered Six Flags Great America theme park in Gurnee, Illinois to pay a total of $450,000 to fifteen people who were involved in an accident on the park's Demon roller coaster in 1998. The riders were trapped upside-down for up to three hours after the train in which they were riding stopped in the middle of a vertical loop. Firefighters used a cherry picker to bring the passengers to safety.

    Investigators concluded that the accident was caused by mechanical failure.

    One woman, whose two children who were trapped in the accident, told reporters, "I'm still kind of upset with Great America. Still to this day we have not received an apology of any kind. It would have felt better in my heart if they had truly felt sorry for what happened."

    The park and its attorneys declined to comment on the case.

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    Family of boy injured on Roger Rabbit ride suing Disneyland

    (Tuesday, January 3, 2001) - The family of the boy who was injured last September on Disneyland's Roger Rabbit Cartoon Spin ride have filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court charging the park with negligence. The family is seeking unspecified damages and a jury trial.

    On September 22, the boy, now 5, fell from his car, then got pinned underneath a trailing car after it struck him.

    An investigation by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) concluded that park employees did not properly seat the child in the car, and that the child's safety bar was "probably" not lowered completely. OSHA has also deemed the ride unsafe, and has ordered the park to make safety modifications to the ride before it can reopen.

    The park denies any responsibility for the accident.

    Speaking about the park's response to the accident, Thomas Girardi, the attorney representing the family, told reporters: "The only thing they're going to understand is a lawsuit and a jury telling them that they owe this family."

    The boy suffers from severe brain damage and remains hospitalized.

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