2006 NEWS ARCHIVE

JANUARY

  • No criminal charges in 'Hydro' death (1/20/06)

    FEBRUARY

  • Man injured while boarding Disney World ride (2/14/06)
  • Riders stranded aboard Busch Gardens Skyride (2/28/06)
  • Boy injured in fall from roller coaster (2/25/06)

    MARCH

  • Roller coaster stalls at carnival, stranding riders (3/3/06)
  • Jury awards $3.6 million to woman injured on Six Flags roller coaster (3/6/06)
  • Park worker killed in fall from roller coaster (3/6/06)
  • Connecticut Supreme Court rules against worker killed in Boulder Dash accident (3/7/06)
  • Malfunction brings swing ride to abrupt stop; 8 injured (3/12/06)
  • Roller coaster car derails, injuring carnival workers (3/12/06)
  • Jaro maintenance worker pleads guilty in Massachusetts Sizzler death (3/15/06)

    APRIL

  • Children trapped on roller coaster (4/2/06)
  • Woman falls ill, dies after ride on Disney's Mission: Space (4/13/06)
  • Latest Mission: Space victim died from bleeding of brain (4/14/06)
  • Two carnival rides collide at Arizona carnival (4/16/06)
  • Girl, 11, dead after fall from Titanic inflatable (4/20/06)
  • Boy, 2, injured in fall from carnival ride (4/30/06)

    MAY

  • Car flies off Orbiter, crashes into food stall; 2 injured (5/5/06)
  • Four injured in waltzer accident (5/5/06)
  • Sinkhole topples carnival ride; three injured (5/6/06)
  • Cord snaps on reverse bungee ride (5/7/06)
  • Roller coaster strands passengers at Six Flags America (5/13/06)
  • 'Evolution' strands riders upside down (5/14/06)
  • Eight trapped on chairlift (5/15/06)
  • Park worker killed in miniature train accident (5/16/06)
  • Jury enters "neutral" narrative verdict in Hydro death (5/19/06)
  • Valleyfair roller coaster derails; 14 injured (5/21/06)

    JUNE

  • Top Scan strands passengers at fair (6/5/06)
  • Rider rescued from carnival ride (6/8/06)
  • Boy, 4, injured in fall from Rainbow (6/9/06)
  • Inflatable ride collapse leaves 4 children injured (6/10/06)
  • Boy, 6, dead after 90-foot-fall from Ferris wheel (6/18/06)
  • Riders stranded after reverse bungee ride malfunctions (6/22/06)
  • Roller coaster stalls, strands passengers (6/23/06)
  • Carnival worker injured (6/24/06)
  • Boy, 12, dies after ride on Disney's Rock 'n' Roller Coaster (6/29/06)
  • Disney victim had heart abnormalities (6/30/06)
  • Carnival worker electrocuted while setting up Ferris wheel (6/30/06)

    JULY

  • Inflatable ride tips over in wind; 1 injured (7/1/06)
  • Riders trapped upside-down in roller coaster mishap (7/1/06)
  • Boy, 6, drowns in river rapids ride accident (7/5/06)
  • Zipper ride ejects, injures two teenagers (7/8/06)
  • 'Son of Beast' roller coaster mishap injures 27 (7/9/06)
  • Boy, 7, critical after water park accident (7/10/06)
  • Investigators find cracked wood on 'Son of Beast' (7/10/06)
  • Two roller coaster trains collide; 15 injured (7/15/06)
  • Ride malfunctions, injures 4 at Colorado carnival (7/15/06)
  • Alton Towers roller coaster collision injures 29 (7/20/06)
  • Boy, 8, collapses on carnival ride (7/22/06)
  • Girl injured while riding roller coaster (7/24/06)
  • Man dies shortly after roller coaster ride in Florida (7/25/06)
  • Man dies shortly after roller coaster ride in Georgia (7/28/06)
  • Park worker injured on roller coaster (7/28/06)
  • Miniature train derails at Ohio park; 15 injured (7/28/06)
  • Woman, 45, falls out of roller coaster (7/28/06)

    AUGUST

  • Report: carnival worker failed to lock Zipper door (8/2/06)
  • Bungee cord snaps on Ejection Seat ride; 2 injured (8/2/06)
  • Swing ride breaks, injures riders (8/4/06)
  • Tornado ride injures 2 children (8/13/06)
  • $1.2 million settlement reached in Lake Compounce drowning death (8/17/06)
  • Woman falls out of roller coaster at fair (8/19/06)
  • Looping carnival ride strands riders upside-down (8/19/06)
  • Operator error blamed in Mad Mouse accident (8/20/06)
  • Girl, 12, suffers electrical shock from carnival ride (8/23/06)
  • Drop Zone malfunctions at fair; 7 injured (8/24/06)
  • Sign falls from ride, injures 2 (8/25/06)
  • Man dies in Ghost Train accident (8/26/06)

    SEPTEMBER

  • River rapids ride raft tips at Minnesota fair; 4 injured (9/1/06)
  • Girl, 12, killed in fall from log flume (9/10/06)
  • Four injured on Tilt-A-Whirl (9/23/06)
  • Teens injured on Orbiter ride at Connecticut fair (9/29/06)
  • Connecticut Orbiter shut down again (9/30/06)

    OCTOBER

  • Two girls injured in fall from ride (10/1/06)
  • Ride operators blamed for girls' 90-foot-fall from ride (10/2/06)
  • Bungee cord snaps on 'Ejection Seat' ride (10/2/06)
  • Police say man was operating ride while intoxicated (10/4/06)
  • Autopsy: boy who died on Disney coaster had genetic heart defect (10/6/06)
  • Woman seriously injured in fall from log flume (10/8/06)
  • Man injured in fall from roller coaster (10/8/06)
  • Power Surge ride strands 20 at Florida carnival (10/12/06)
  • Girl scalped in go-kart mishap (10/20/06)
  • Boy, 10, ejected from roller coaster (10/21/06)
  • Girl, 13, ejected from Orbiter at Georgia fair (10/26/06)
  • Woman injured in fall from Orbiter at fair (10/31/06)
  • Report says girl panicked on Orbiter (10/31/06)

    NOVEMBER

  • Ride strands passengers upside down (11/5/06)
  • Georgia officials reopen Orbiter investigation (11/6/06)
  • Georgia officials re-inspect Orbiter, return ride to owner (11/18/06)

    DECEMBER

  • Roller coaster fatality leads to over $300,000 in fines (12/8/06)
  • $3 million settlement in 2000 Spin Dragon collapse (12/9/06)
  • Design flaw blamed in 'Son of Beast' accident (12/13/06)
  • Carnival ride collapses; 1 killed, 6 injured (12/25/06)
  • Woman struck by falling roller coaster track (12/30/06


  • Woman struck by falling roller coaster track

    (December 30, 2006) - At an indoor theme park at Berjaya Times Square in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, a 28-year-old woman was struck in the head by a metal bar that had fallen from the track of a roller coaster. Witnesses say the accident happened when a car stalled and began to roll backwards. The woman was treated for neck injuries.


    Carnival ride collapses; 1 killed, 6 injured

    (December 25, 2006) - At a carnival in Marikina City in the Philippines, a 10-year-old girl was killed and six teenagers were injured when a carnival ride malfunctioned. The accident happened on an octopus ride, which consists of whirling seats that rise and fall continuously throughout the course of the ride. Police reports indicate that one of the ride's six support arms broke and crashed to the ground. The victims, who were riding in the four cars that were attached to the end of the support, also crashed to the ground. The injured were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

    The accident is under investigation. The carnival manager and two ride operators were taken into police custody. A city official said that the carnival supervisor and fair operator may be charged with negligence causing multiple physical injuries.


    Design flaw blamed in 'Son of Beast' accident

    (December 13, 2006) - Ohio state officials investigating the cause of the 'Son of Beast' roller coaster accident at Paramount Kings Island theme park last July, are citing a deficiency in the ride's design as the cause of the accident. The state report says that the primary cause of the ride failure was a structural design deficiency that allowed a vertical wooden support to crack because it could not support the weight. Investigators believe that the failure of that support led to the failure of two others, which caused a dip in the tracks that led one of the ride's trains to joly abruptly during a rough ride on July 9. Twenty-seven passengers suffered minor injuries.

    The ride has remained closed since the state ordered it shut down after the accident. The park is making significant modifications to the ride.

    RELATED STORIES:
  • 'Son of Beast' roller coaster mishap injures 27
  • Investigators find cracked wood on 'Son of Beast'


    $3 million settlement in 2000 Spin Dragon collapse

    (December 9, 2006) - Forty-two people who were injured in when a carnival ride collapsed at a fair in September, 2000, will receive between $2000 and $400,000 each in compensation after their case was settled. The total payout is expected to be up to $3 million.

    The accident happened at the Royal Adelaide Show in Australia. The ride, called the Spin Dragon, collapsed when 44 of the gondola's 48 bolts broke.

    RELATED STORY:
  • Ride collapses at fair in Australia; 37 injured


    Roller coaster fatality leads to over $300,000 in fines

    (December 8, 2006) - A Health and Safety Executive investigation into a June, 2001 roller coaster fatality at Lightwater Valley theme park, has led to over $300,000 in fines against the park, a maintenance electrician, and the ride's manufacturer. Lightwater Valley Attractions was fined more than £35,000 plus costs of £40,000 for breaching health and safety legislation; the maintenance electrician was fined £2,500 plus costs of £500; and Reverchon Industries, the manufacturer, was fined a total of £120,000 plus £55,000 costs. The accident happened when two cars collided on the Treetop Twister roller coaster, killing a 20-year-old girl and injuring three other riders.

    RELATED STORY:
  • Roller coaster accident kills one, injures 3(6/21/01)


    Georgia officials re-inspect Orbiter, return ride to owner

    (November 18, 2006) - The Orbiter ride from which a 13-year-old girl was thrown at a fair in October has been re-inspected by Georgia authorities, who returned the ride back to its owner after finding no evidence to suggest that there were any problems with the ride. All post-accident inspections of the ride indicate that the ride was running safely. At the time of October's accident, the ride had been running in the opposite direction than that specified by its manufacturer, but investigators found that the ride's operation had no bearing on the accident. Initial reports stated that the girl panicked and slipped underneath her lap bar, but the girl's family disagrees with that finding. The girl had been in an induced coma, but she has since been released from the hospital and is recovering from her injuries.

    RELATED STORIES:
  • Girl, 13, ejected from Orbiter at Georgia fair (10/26/06)
  • Report says girl panicked on Orbiter (10/31/06)
  • Georgia officials reopen Orbiter investigation (11/6/06)


    Georgia officials reopen Orbiter investigation

    (Monday, November 6, 2006) - Authorities investigating the October 26 Orbiter accident in Augusta, Georgia, have reopened their investigation into what went wrong, The action comes after new witnesses came forward with conflicting statements, and new evidence that shows the ride may have been running in the wrong direction. The ride was reportedly running counterclockwise, despite the fact that its manufacturer designed the ride to run clockwise.

    Officials reopened the ride a day after the accident, but on Thursday, the Georgia Department of Labor ordered it closed again for further testing and inspections.

    A report by the Department of Labor said that the girl who fell from the ride had panicked and slid underneath the lap bar. She was thrown 60 feet through the air and landed underneath an adjacent ride.

    The Department released this statement, "New information is coming forth from additional witnesses that appears to conflict with earlier accounts. Therefore, the Georgia Department of Labor will seek to interview those witnesses and will conduct more extensive tests on the amusement ride in question. We have discontinued operation of that ride until further notice."

    RELATED STORIES:
  • Girl, 13, ejected from Orbiter at Georgia fair (10/26/06)
  • Report says girl panicked on Orbiter (10/31/06)


    Ride strands passengers upside down

    (Sunday, November 5, 2006) - At Strathclyde Country Park in Motherwell, Scotland, eighteen people were left hanging upside down 20 feet in the air for more than an hour when a carnival ride called "Move It" jammed. It took engineers over an hour to bring riders to an upright position, and an additional 90 minutes for rescue workers to evacuate all of the riders.

    Some riders complained of dizziness and bruises on their legs and shoulders as a result of the pressure of the safety harnesses. No one was seriously injured.

    The Health and Safety Executive is investigating.


    Report says girl panicked on Orbiter

    (Tuesday, October 31, 2006) - The Georgia Department of Labor says that last week's accident at the Georgia-Carolina State Fair in which a girl was thrown from an Orbiter ride was the result of the girl's attempts to exit the ride in panic. The girl was thrown 60 feet from the ride and landed underneath a nearby ride. She was severely injured. The ride was immediately shut down to allow for an investigation, but was reopened the next day, after inspectors deemed it safe.

    According to the report, a friend of the girl, who was inside the car with the victim, told police that the victim panicked and tried to get out of the ride as it started. She then held onto the victim's coat until she was no longer able to do so.

    The report concluded that there "appeared to be no failure in equipment or safety features."

    The Orbiter was manufactured in 1993. It is owned and operated by Dreamland Amusements of New York.

    RELATED STORIES:
  • Girl, 13, ejected from Orbiter at Georgia fair (10/26/06)


    Woman injured in fall from Orbiter at fair

    (Tuesday, October 31, 2006) - At a fair in Castlebar in County Mayo, Ireland, a woman was injured in a fall from an Orbiter amusement ride. She was hospitalized with serious injuries to her head, shoulder, and pelvic areas. The accident is under investigation.


    Girl, 13, ejected from Orbiter at Georgia fair

    (Thursday, October 26, 2006) - A 13-year-old girl was hospitalized with serious head injuries after she was thrown from an Orbiter ride at the Georgia-Carolina State Fair in Augusta, Georgia. Witnesses say the girl was thrown 60 feet through the air and landed underneath a nearby Spyder ride.


    Boy, 10, ejected from roller coaster

    (Saturday, October 21, 2006) - A 10-year-old boy was thrown from a "Mad Mouse" roller coaster at the South Carolina State Fair. He fell 15 feet and suffered cuts, scrapes, and a broken leg. In a statement to WIS-TV News, the boy said, "We got on and the latch wouldn't stay on. And the guy just said, 'Hold on tight.' When we went through the first turn it popped up. We hit this bump. Mama flew up, but I flew over the whole thing."

    The Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation is investigating.

    The fair's rides are operated by the North American Midway Company of California.


    Girl scalped in go-kart mishap

    (Friday, October 20, 2006) - A 12-year-old girl was completely scalped when her ponytail got caught in the drive belt of a go-kart engine at Niagara Go-Karts and Mini Putt in Niagra Falls, Ontario, Canada.


    Power Surge ride strands 20 at Florida carnival

    (Thursday, October 12, 2006) - At a carnival in Pinellas Park, Florida, about 20 riders were left stranded for nearly two hours when a "Power Surge" ride broke down. Ride operators were able to lower the ride by draining the hydraulic fluid from the pistons that lift the ride into the air. No one was injured.


    Man injured in fall from roller coaster

    (Sunday, October 8, 2006) - At the Heart O’ Texas Fair & Rodeo in Waco, Texas, a man fell 8 to 10 feet from a spinning roller coaster called Pole Position. His head struck a metal beam and then he landed on pavement. He was hospitalized in fair condition.

    The ride is operated by Crabtree Amusements.

    State safety officials, insurance companies, Waco police, and the ride’s manufacturer are investigating the accident.


    Woman seriously injured in fall from log flume

    (Sunday, October 8, 2006) - At Liseberg amusement park in Goeteborg, Sweden, a woman suffered serious head injuries in an accident on the park's log flume ride. Witnesses say that the woman may have panicked, and that she was seen holding onto a railing in an attempt to stop her boat at the top of the highest point of the ride, before the final drop down the ride's water-filled chute. The boat continued down the chute, leaving her dangling from the railing. She then fell down the chute and was subsequently struck by one or two boats that followed.


    Autopsy: boy who died on Disney coaster had genetic heart defect

    (Friday, October 6, 2006) - The 12-year-old boy who died after riding the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster at Walt Disney World's MGM Studios theme park in June had a genetic heart defect that often goes undetected until the person dies. The final autopsy report revealed that the boy had an abnormal aortic valve with only two flaps instead of three. There was also evidence of narrowing of the aorta. The boy was born with the defects, which often go unnoticed and can cause heart failure "at any moment."


    Police say man was operating ride while intoxicated

    (Wednesday, October 4, 2006) - At the Tulsa State Fair in Tulsa, Oklahoma, police arrested a 23-year-old amusement ride operator who was allegedly drinking on the job. A patron reported that someone handed the operator a beer in a plastic soft drink cup. Police found the cup with beer inside, and a can of beer nearby.

    The man was an employee of Murphy Brothers. He has since been fired.


    Bungee cord snaps on 'Ejection Seat' ride

    (Monday, October 2, 2006) - At the Tulsa State Fair in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a 48-year-old man was slightly injured when a bungee cord snapped on a high-speed thrill ride. The man was left dangling 25 feet in mid-air for 30 minutes until rescuers brought him to safety. He was treated at the scene for minor injuries.

    The ride, a reverse-bungee catapult ride called the Ejection Seat, consists of two steel towers with a bungee cord connected to each tower. The other ends of the cords are attached to a caged steel vehicle in which riders are seated. The vehicle is pulled to the ground, where riders board. When the vehicle is released from the loading station, the bungee cords engage, sending riders on a high-speed vertical launch 200 feet into midair at speeds of 60 mph. One of the bungee cords supporting the ride snapped and left the seat dangling sideways near one of the towers.

    All of the ride's four bungee cords were replaced on Saturday and the ride passed an inspection.

    The incident is under investigation by the Oklahoma Department of Labor and the ride has been shut down.

    The ride is operated by Amusement Management International of Carrollton, Texas.


    Ride operators blamed for girls' 90-foot-fall from ride

    (Monday, October 2, 2006) - Police investigating Sunday's accident at Kumdori Land in Korea, say that employees failed to ensure that riders' restraints were fastened and locked. Two riders fell over 100 feet from the Swing Drop ride and were critically injured. Police said that two employees who were operating the ride admitted they did not check whether passengers had fastened their seatbelts before the ride was started.


    Two girls injured in fall from ride

    (Sunday, October 1, 2006) - A 12-year-old girl and an 11-year-old girl were injured after falling from a ride called the Swing Drop in Kumdori Land, Doryong-dong, Daejeon, Korea. They fell over 90 feet and landed on concrete. They were hospitalized in critical condition with head, arm, and leg injuries. The Swing Drop is a freefall-type ride that reaches heights of over 120 feet.

    One of the girls said that the ride operators started the ride before she was able to fasten her safety belt. Police are investigating.


    Connecticut Orbiter shut down again

    (Saturday, September 30, 2006) - The company that manufactures the Orbiter amusement ride ordered one shut down at the Berlin Fair in Connecticut. The action came after several riders claimed there were problems with the ride's safety bar latches. The ride had just reopened following its closure on Friday night, when at least two riders claim they were thrown about in their cars and injured.

    The ride passed two state inspections. The company that operates the Orbiter, Dreamland Amusements, said that there was no problem with the ride. Fair offiicials said that the ride was being closed because of "negative publicity" of Friday's incidents.


    Teens injured on Orbiter ride at Connecticut fair

    (Friday, September 29, 2006) - At least two teenagers claim to have been injured while riding an Orbiter at the Berlin Fair in Logan, Connecticut. Parents took their children to the hospital for treatment and contacted local authorities, who ordered the ride shut down. The parents complained that the children were being thrown about their car. The boys were not on the ride at the same time.

    State officials inspected the ride and did not see any problems. The ride will remain closed pending a second inspection.


    Four injured on Tilt-A-Whirl

    (Saturday, September 23, 2006) - At a carnival in Poplarville, Mississippi, a Tilt-A-Whirl accident left four children injured. Witnesses say that one of the tubs derailed, throwing one child onto the metal deck of the spinning ride. Other tubs then crashed into the derailed tub. Authorities blame mechanical failure for the mishap. The rides were operated by Rebel Amusement Rides of Houma, Louisiana.


    Girl, 12, killed in fall from log flume

    (Sunday, September 10, 2006) - A 12-year-old girl was killed in a fall from the Wild River log flume ride at the Star City amusement park in the Philippines. Park officials say that the girl panicked when her boat reached the ride's highest point and she tried to get off.

    The ride has been ordered closed. The accident is under investigation.


    River rapids ride raft tips at Minnesota fair; 4 injured

    (Friday, September 1, 2006) - Four people were injured in a river rapids ride accident at the Minnesota State Fair in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Witnesses say that riders may have moved after the boat left the station, leaving the raft unbalanced. The raft then got caught on an underwater part of the ride, spilling the riders into the water. Ride operators immediately jumped into the water to help the riders. One man was sent to a local hospital where he was treated for minor injuries and released. Three others were treated at the scene.

    The ride was closed for an inspection, and reopened shortly afterward after no problems were found.


    Man dies in Ghost Train accident

    (Saturday, August 26, 2006) - At Tramore Amusement Park in Tramore, Ireland, a 22-year-old man suffered fatal injuries in an accident on the park's Ghost Train ride. Early reports indicate that the man left or fell from his car and was subsequently struck by an oncoming car. He was rushed to a local hospital, where he died a short time later.

    The Health and Safety Authority is investigating.


    Sign falls from ride, injures 2

    (Friday, August 25, 2006) - Two people suffered minor injuries when a metal sign fell from an amusement ride and struck them. The accident happened at the Chelsea Community Fair in Chelsea, Michigan. The rides at the fair were operated by Mid America Shows.


    Drop Zone malfunctions at fair; 7 injured

    (Thursday, August 24, 2006) - Seven children suffered minor injuries after a freefall-type ride malfunctioned at the Great New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York. Two cables, each of which is designed to withstand 17,000 pounds, frayed and snapped simultaneously, causing the passenger carriage to drop about 20 feet to the loading platform. The ride had been inspected by fair officials and state inspectors just hours before the accident.

    The Drop Zone is operated by James E. Strates Shows. State officials ordered that the ride be dismantled and removed from the fairgrounds.



    WEWS NewsChannel 5, Cleveland

    Girl, 12, suffers electrical shock from carnival ride

    (Wednesday, August 23, 2006) - At the Lorain County Fair in Wellington, Ohio, a 12-year-old girl was shocked when she reached for a handrail that surrounded a carnival ride. She suffered temporary muscle weakness and superficial burns to her hands. She was released and was expected to fully recover.

    The ride is operated by Bates Brothers Amusement Company.

    Three years ago, 8-year-old Greyson Yoe died after he was shocked while standing in line for a bumper car ride at Ohio's Lake County Fair. His death prompted state legislators to pass "Greyson's Law," which was designed to prevent a similar accident from happening again. The law requires certification from a licensed electrician that the electrical connection is in compliance with the National Electric Code.

    In an interview with a WKYC news reporter, Yoe's father said that it was "sad to see three years after our loss this has happened again."

    UPDATE: Shock cause determined on Lorain County Fair ride - Morning Journal, 8/27/06


    Operator error blamed in Mad Mouse accident

    (Sunday, August 20, 2006) - Investigators say that a ride operator who failed to check a safety restraint bar may be to blame for an accident Saturday at the Indiana State Fair. A woman was injured while she was riding a roller coaster called the Mad Mouse. She fell out of her car near the end of the ride and fell about five feet to pavement. A police report indicates that the operator closed the woman's safety bar, but did not check to make sure that it was locked.

    The roller coaster is operated by North American Midway Entertainment. The company is working with the ride's manufacturer to determine the cause of the accident.


    Looping carnival ride strands riders upside-down

    (Saturday, August 19, 2006) - At a carnival in Caledonia, Minnesota, ten people were left stranded upside-down when a looping ride called the Ring of Fire stopped suddenly. It took carnival workers about 15 minutes to move the carriage into a position from which riders could safely evacuate the ride. No one was injured.

    Investigators said that the ride's motor simply burned out.


    Woman falls out of roller coaster at fair

    (Saturday, August 19, 2006) - At the Indiana State Fair, a 24-year-old woman was injured when she fell out of a roller coaster car. She fell about five feet and landed on pavement. She was treated for minor injuries at a local hospital and released. State inspectors and local police are investigating.

    The accident happened on the Mad Mouse roller coaster, which is operated by North American Midway Entertainment.


    $1.2 million settlement reached in Lake Compounce drowning death

    (Thursday, August 17, 2006) - The mother of the 6-year-old boy who drowned at Lake Compounce in 2000 has agreed to a $1.2 million settlement with the park's insurance carrier. The agreement is subject to the approval of a probate court judge.

    The boy drowned in Lake Compounce after riding one of the park's water slides. The slide carries riders upon inner tubes through twists and turns and then spills them into the lake. Riders must then 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. A police investigation into the accident faulted the park, its employees, and the victim's guardian, saying they all contributed to the child's death.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    Tornado ride injures 2 children

    (Sunday, August 13, 2006) - Two children were injured while riding a carnival ride called the Tornado at the Clark County Fair in Vancouver, Washington. Each suffered a broken arm and were taken by ambulance to a local hospital, where they were treated and released. The accident happened as the children were using the car's wheel to spin the car. Their hands became tangled and somehow wrapped around the pole above the wheel.

    The ride is operated by Butler Amusements. The accident is under investigation.


    Swing ride breaks, injures riders

    (Friday, August 4, 2006) - Three children were injured after an amusement ride broke at a carnival in Black River Falls, Wisconsin. They were taken to a local hospital where they were treated for bumps and bruises and released. The ride, called the Swing, is operated by Wenzel Amazements of Allenton, Wisconsin.

    The accident is under investigation.


    Bungee cord snaps on Ejection Seat ride; 2 injured

    (Wednesday, August 2, 2006) - At the Montana State Fair in Great Falls, Montana, two men were injured on a slingshot-type thrill ride when a bungee cord snapped. The ride, a reverse-bungee catapult ride called the Human Slingshot Ejection Seat, consists of two steel towers with a bungee cord connected to each tower. The other ends of the cords are attached to a caged steel vehicle in which riders are seated. The vehicle is pulled to the ground, where riders board. When the vehicle is released from the loading station, the bungee cords engage, sending riders on a high-speed vertical launch into midair.

    A witness who watched from the ground told Montana's Great Falls Tribune that, as the bungee cords stretched, she watched as one of them "shredded like confetti." The cage went crashing into the tower to which the second cord was still connected. The riders were left hanging sideways in the vehicle, 70 feet in the air, until fair workers untangled the cords around the vehicle and lowered it to the ground.

    One of the riders suffered a large welt on his head. The other suffered what he described as "cable burn" all over his right arm.

    The ride has been repaired, retested, and reopened.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    Report: carnival worker failed to lock Zipper door

    (Wednesday, August 2, 2006) - A carnival worker who was operating the Zipper ride that injured two girls in July told police that "he might have left a key out of the door that opened," ejecting the girls. The worker made the remarks as he was questioned by a Sherrff's Deputy shortly after the accident happened. The details of the police report were made public this week by Minnesota's Hinckley News. According to the report, the worker told a Sheriff's Deputy that he may have "made a mistake."

    "When asked what he meant, Mr. Huebsch stated he did not put the key in the door of the ride the two girls were on.

    "During the ride back, he was upset and kept saying he made a mistake. He stated he is only human and we make mistakes."

    The worker insists that he had not been drinking or taking drugs. The police report indicates that the man was visibly shaking and upset when police approached him after the accident. He will not face any criminal charges.

    One of the girls suffered a broken elbow and the other remains hospitalized with a broken back and serious head injuries.

    The worker also told police that he believes there are safety systems other then the pin mechanism that should have prevented the door from opening.

    The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is investigating the accident.

    RELATED STORY:

  • Zipper ride ejects, injures two teenagers (7/8/06)


    Woman, 45, falls out of roller coaster

    (Saturday, July 29, 2006) - A 45-year-old woman fell out of the Twist 'n' Shout roller coaster at Magic Springs amusement park in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Investigators believe that the ride's centrifugal force pushed her out of her car as it rounded a curve. She was hospitalized in stable condition.

    Inspectors found no mechanical problems with the ride, which was scheduled to reopen on Sunday.

    UPDATE: State: Employee improperly seated woman hurt on Hot Springs ride HOT SPRINGS, Ark. A state inspector says a ride operator should have prevented a large woman from taking up two seats on a roller coaster at the Magic Springs amusement park in Hot Springs. The inspector was called out after a July 29th accident that injured a Tennessee woman. Felicia Robinson of Memphis fell eleven feet onto a box holding electric cables. Magic Springs disputed the report. It said Robinson didn't follow the rules for the "Twist 'n Shout" ride. The Arkansas Labor Department said one of the ride operators let the woman ride sideways and occupy two seats. The ride's manufacturer requires one seat per rider. The inspection report says the woman was "extremely large" and that the park shouldn't have let her onto the ride. Ride operator Vicky Snyder said Robinson sat sideways and that the coaster car's restraining bar was closed and locked. Hot Springs police said last month that centrifugal force pushed Robinson off the ride as it rounded a curve. Robinson was taken to a hospital after the accident; calls to her home were referred to a paralegal's office in Memphis, which didn't return messages.


    Miniature train derails at Ohio park; 15 injured

    (Friday, July 28, 2006) - At Noah's Ark Animal Farm in Jackson, Ohio, fifteen people suffered minor injuries when a miniature train derailed. Investigators said that a brake failure caused one of the train's two cars to roll over at a small curve in the track. At least three of the riders were taken to a hospital. The most serious injuries were broken bones.


    Park worker injured on roller coaster

    (Friday, July 28, 2006) - A park worker was injured after an accident on the Turbo roller coaster at Brighton Pier in Brighton, England. The woman slipped and got her leg trapped underneath one of the ride's cars. It took about an hour for more than a dozen firefighters using winches and cutters to free the woman. She was hospitalized with minor injuries.


    Man dies shortly after roller coaster ride in Georgia

    (Friday, July 28, 2006) - At Six Flags Over Georgia theme park in Atlanta, Georgia, a 45-year-old man died of an apparent heart attack after losing consciousness on the Goliath roller coaster. Witnesses say that he was alert throughout most of the ride, but lost consciousness toward the end. Rescue workers said that the man was not breathing when they arrived at the scene to treat him. The man was rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

    The ride was tested and reopened after inspectors found it to be operating properly.

    UPDATE: It was determined that the man's death was caused by a heart attack that resulted from a pre-existing medical condition, and was not related to the operation of the ride.


    Man dies shortly after roller coaster ride in Florida

    (Tuesday, July 25, 2006) - A 52-year-old man died less than two hours after riding the Gwazi roller coaster at Busch Gardens theme park in Tampa Bay, Florida. He complained about feeling sick after the ride, and later lost consciousness. He was taken to a hospital, and within two hours, was pronounced dead.

    UPDATE: A medical examiner said that the man suffered from high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries. His apparent heart attack and subsequent death was not related to the operation to the ride.

    BUSCH GARDENS MEDIA STATEMENT:
    (July 25, 2006) - Busch Gardens is saddened that park guest Thomas Welch of Palm Harbor died after suffering an apparent heart attack while visiting the park on Monday, July 24. We extend our deepest sympathy to the Welch family. Mr. Welch asked park attendants for assistance after exiting the Gwazi roller coaster. He was responsive when First Aid arrived two minutes later, but subsequently required CPR, which was initiated immediately. First Aid also applied an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to monitor Mr. Welch's heart activity. Tampa Fire Rescue arrived about seven minutes later and transported Mr. Welch to University Community Hospital. Gwazi is a double wooden roller coaster that opened in 1999. It reaches speeds of 50 mph over 3,400 feet of track. The coaster's safety systems indicated that the ride was operating normally, and it was reopened following Mr. Welch's transport to the hospital. Gwazi has safely entertained millions of riders in its seven-year history. We will continue to do our utmost to provide a safe and enjoyable experience at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay for the millions of guests who visit us each year.

    BUSCH GARDENS GWAZI POSTED WARNING:
    “This ride, by its very nature, creates forces and speeds that may or may not be acceptable to some persons, and may cause injury to some riders with pre-existing conditions. Guests with any type of prosthesis should ensure that it is properly secured and will remain in place during the ride. Riders must be in good health. Those who have had recent surgery, those with high blood pressure, heart conditions, neck or back problems, expectant mothers, and those with any impairment or condition that would prevent normal seating or use of the safety restraints as provided should not board this ride.”


    Girl injured on roller coaster speaks to the media
    - KCCI News, July 29, 2006

    Girl injured while riding roller coaster

    (Monday, July 24, 2006) - At Adventureland amusement park in Altoona, Iowa, an 11-year-old girl suffered a head injury while riding the Tornado roller coaster. She was hit by a loose board that had been placed near the ride. She was hospitalized in fair condition.

    Park and state inspectors found the ride to be operating normally.



    WOOD-TV

    Boy, 8, collapses on carnival ride

    (Saturday, July 22, 2006) - An 8-year-old boy collapsed while he was riding an amusement at a carnival in Ionia, Michigan. Witnesses say that he went unconscious on a ride called the Fireball, a highly intense swinging and rotating ride. He was removed from the ride and given CPR immediately, then rushed to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. The boy's family and investigators believe the boy died of natural causes because he was born with heart problems and suffered heart murmurs. An autopsy is scheduled.

    The Ionia County Sheriff said that investigators inspected the ride after the incident and found it to be safe operating condition.

    "There was nothing faulty with the ride. The ride has been inspected. It was working as it was designed to work."


    Alton Towers roller coaster collision injures 29

    (Thursday, July 20, 2006) - An accident on the Runaway Mine Train roller coaster at Alton Towers theme park in North Staffs, England, left 29 people with minor injuries. The two front cars of one of the ride's trains separated from the rear cars, then rolled backward and collided with them. Four people were taken to hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries, including two women who may have suffered whiplash, spinal or abdominal injuries. Twenty-five riders were treated at the park for cuts, bruises, and minor injuries.

    The Runaway Mine Train was manufactured by Mack in 1992. It has been shut down while the Health and Safety Executive investigates.


    Ride malfunctions, injures 4 at Colorado carnival

    (Saturday, July 15, 2006) - At a carnival in Colorado Springs, Colorado, a malfunction on a ride called the Hi Roller left four people with minor injuries. The ride is composed of single loop. An inner track carries a train backward and forward around the loop. Investigators say that some bolts came loose in the rigging, causing the track to drop past a clearance level. One witness told police that the train of cars "slammed to a stop" at full speed. It is estimated that the force of the impact was about the same as that of a car accident at 50mph.

    Firefighters were called to the scene, where they used special equipment to cut through parts of the ride so that riders could be evacuated. Four people with minor injuries were taken to a hospital.

    The ride is operated by Bill Hames Shows, Inc.


    Two roller coaster trains collide; 15 injured

    (Saturday, July 15, 2006) - Two roller coaster trains collided at Liseberg theme park in Goteberg, Sweden, leaving 15-20 people with minor injuries. Reports indicate that one train rolled backward down the lift hill and collided with the second train, which was stopped inside the loading station.

    The ride, called Lisebergbanan, was manufactured in 1987.


    "It was obvious there was a failure of the timber."
    Did crack cause coaster jolt?
    - Cincinnati Enquirer, July 11, 2006

    “We are focusing our investigation, at this point, on the structural integrity of the ride."
    - LeeAnne Mizer, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Agriculture
    Amusement Ride Safety Division

    Investigators find cracked wood on 'Son of Beast'

    (Monday, July 10, 2006) - Cracked and splintered timber has been discovered by inspectors investigating an incident at Paramount's Kings Island theme park in Ohio on Sunday. Twenty-seven people were injured on the park's 'Son of Beast' roller coaster when one of the ride's trains jolted abruptly. The inspectors say that the cracked timber, a wooden support post, may be to blame for the mishap. They say that it probably cracked at the time of the accident.

    “We are focusing our investigation, at this point, on the structural integrity of the ride," said LeeAnne Mizer, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Agriculture Amusement Ride Safety Division.

    “We have a stop order on that ride.

    “It cannot be operational until we release it. I don’t anticipate that happening anytime soon.”

    Ohio's Oxford Press reported that in 2000, the park filed a lawsuit against three companies involved with the construction of the ride. The lawsuit alleges that the ride had insufficient support structures, and that the park paid to fix some lumber problems related to the ride. The park has always maintained that the ride is safe.

    Investigators searching for cause of roller coaster accident
    - Associated Press, August 4, 2006

    Couple sues amusement park over coaster mishap
    - Associated Press, July 26, 2006

    Man complained about roller coaster days before incident
    - NBC4 News, Columbus, Ohio, July 13, 2004

    Son of Beast coaster had early problems
    - Cincinnati Enquirer, July 11, 2006


    Inspectors find 24 safety violations at park where boy lost legs
    - CTV News, July 19, 2006

    Boy, 7, critical after water park accident

    (Monday, July 10, 2006) - A 7-year-old boy was seriously injured at a water park in Montérégie, Quebec, when he was sucked through an underwater intake pipe located in a pool where water slides empty. Investigators say that there was no screen covering the opening at the time of the accident. It is believed that the boy's body was sucked through 20 feet of pipes until his feet hit the pump's turbines. A ride operator rushed to a shed where the pump's controls are located and shut down the system. The child's heart had stopped, but a lifeguard resuscitated him. He was hospitalized in critical condition.

    UPDATE: The boy's life is no longer in danger, however both of his legs were amputated below his knees. The screen that was supposed to block the opening of the pipe was found by police at the bottom of the pool. Investigators found 24 safety violations at the park that posed various risks, ranging from falls to electrocution. The park has corrected the violations.


    'Son of Beast' roller coaster mishap injures 27

    (Sunday, July 9, 2006) - At Paramount's Kings Island theme park in Kings Island, Ohio, 27 people who were riding the 'Son of Beast' roller coaster were injured when their train jolted abruptly. Riders complained of chest and neck injuries when their train returned to the station after the ride. Witnesses say that the riders were holding their chests, and some of them were seen bleeding from the mouth.

    Twenty-five riders were treated for minor injuries at local hospitals and released. Two riders were admitted to the hospital with minor injuries.

    Son of Beast is the only looping wooden roller coaster in the world. It reaches heights of over 200 feet and speeds of more than 78 mph. It has been shut down while inspectors and park officials investigate.



    KSTP News


    KARE11 News

    Teen girls hurt on carnival ride identified
    - Associated Press, July 10, 2006
    "We fell out, and I guess I hit a whole bunch of carts on the way down and I landed on a fence."

    Girl talks about carnival accident
    - WCCO News, July 10, 2006
    "I wasn't really worrying about how the door was being shut."

    Answers sought in carnival accident
    - Star Tribune, July 10, 2006

    Lawmakers, after carnival accident, consider more state oversight
    - Associated Press, July 11, 2006

    When does free ride end?
    State's lax amusement-ride oversight might change after Hinckley accident

    Pioneer Press, July 12, 2006

    Zipper ride ejects, injures two teenagers

    (Saturday, July 8, 2006) - At a carnival in Hinckley, Minnesota, two 14-year-old girls were seriously injured when they were ejected from a Zipper ride. Witnesses say the door of their car swung open, and the girls fell about 25 feet to the ground. They were airlifted to area hospitals. One of them was in critical condition.

    The ride is operated by Magel Carnival Midways. It has been shut down and the accident is under investigation.


    Boy, 6, drowns in river rapids ride accident

    (Wednesday, July 5, 2006) - At Parc Astérix in Plailly, Picardie, France, a 6-year-old boy drowned after he fell from his raft on a river rapids ride called 'La Descente du Styx.' Witnesses say that the boy stood up in the raft before the ride had ended, and was knocked into the water when another raft gently collided with his raft. Two people dove into the water immediately in an attempt to rescue the boy, but their efforts were hampered by the ride's artificial waves. The boy's body was found 20 minutes later.

    The ride has been closed pending an investigation.



    Journal Gazette File Photo

    Riders trapped upside-down in roller coaster mishap

    (Saturday, July 1, 2006) - At Fun Spot amusement park in Angola, Indiana, 12 riders were left stranded upside-down, 50 feet in the air for 40 minutes after a roller coaster train stopped suddenly in the middle of a loop. Firefighters used their bucket to push the cars through the loop, and riders were then evacuated. Seven of the riders were treated at the scene for minor heat-related injuries and shoulder and neck pain. Five of the riders were treated at a local hospital for similar injuries and were released.

    A state inspector said a seal for an air cylinder regulator failed, causing the mishap.

    During an annual state inspection in May, seven problems were found with ride, and the park was ordered to repair welds on the track, replace missing bolts on the launch car, install missing seat cushions, replace the front right wheel on the third car, tighten tie bars, and install missing lock nuts. All of the problems had been corrected and the ride was compliant at the time of Saturday's mishap.


    Inflatable ride tips over in wind; 1 injured

    (Saturday, July 1, 2006) - At a fair in Lewisville, Texas, an interactive inflatable ride called Adrenaline Rush tipped over, injuring a boy. The accident happened when a strong wind gust from a thunderstorm toppled the ride.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    Carnival worker electrocuted while setting up Ferris wheel

    (Friday, June 30, 2006) - A 34-year-old carnival worker was electrocuted when he fell and got tangled up in a wire while he was setting up a Ferris wheel at a carnival in Houston, Missouri. He was rushed to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.


    Disney victim had heart abnormalities

    (Friday, June 30, 2006) - The 12-year-old boy who died after riding the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster at Disney's MGM Studios theme park on Thursday had congenital heart abnormalities, according to the medical examiner. An autopsy revealed no evidence that the boy had suffered any injury. The medical examiner's office continues its investigation into the boy's death. Disney officials reopened the ride after an inspectors determined that the ride was operating properly.


    Boy, 12, dies after ride on Disney's Rock 'n' Roller Coaster

    (Thursday, June 29, 2006) - A 12-year-old boy was found unresponsive at the end of his ride on the Rock N' Roller Coaster at Disney's MGM Studios theme park in Orlando, Florida. He was pronounced dead a short time later.

    The incident is under investigation. Park officials say that the ride was operating properly.


    Carnival worker injured

    (Saturday, June 24, 2006) - At the Red River Exhibition in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, a 31-year-old midway employee suffered a head injury while working a roller coaster ride.


    Roller coaster stalls, strands passengers

    (Friday, June 23, 2006) - At Paramount's Kings Dominion theme park in Doswell, Virginia, 15 people were left stranded when a roller coaster stalled. It took firefighters and park workers two hours to evacuate all of the the passengers from the ride, called "Volcano: The Blast Coaster."

    One of the riders was taken to a hospital where he was treated for a minor laceration. Another rider, who complained that he couldn't put any weight on his foot, was also taken to a hospital as a precautionary measure.

    The ride has been closed while park officials determine what caused the ride to stall.


    Riders stranded after reverse bungee ride malfunctions

    (Thursday, June 22, 2006) - In Essex, England, two men were left stranded 100 feet in mid-air when a reverse bungee ride malfunctioned. Firefighters rescued the men safely. No one was injured.

    The ride is billed as Europe's biggest bungee ride. It launches riders 150ft into the air.


    Report: No link between boy's fatal fall and faulty doors
    - The Record, November 4, 2006

    California Division of Occupational Safety and Health Ferris Wheel Accident Investigation Report
    October 30, 2006
    (.pdf file from http://masstort.org)


    KXTV ABC News 10, Sacramento

    Boy, 6, dead after 90-foot-fall from Ferris wheel

    (Sunday, June 18, 2006) - At the San Joaquin Fair in Stockton, California, a 6-year-old boy died from injuries he suffered in a fall from a giant Ferris wheel. The boy was riding the 90-foot-tall ride alone, even though he was only 6 years old, and the gondolas are not equipped with seat belts or safety restraints.

    The ride's manufacturer and operator require that riders be at least 42 inches tall to ride alone, and the boy's height exceeded 42 inches. But there is no requirement that children over 42 inches tall be accompanied by an adult, and there is no requirement that children be a minimum age to ride alone.

    According to witnesses, the wheel had turned 2-3 times then stopped to unload passengers, leaving the boy's gondola at the top of the wheel. Apparently, the boy became scared and panicked, and attempted to exit the gondola. He fell about 90 feet, hit a railing, and landed on the ground.

    According to Sacramento's KXTV News, the boy's mother expected that her child would be seated in a gondola with other passengers.

    "I know when he was inside he was yelling he was scared.

    "I don't think he realized it stops, and it lets people out at the bottom."

    The ride is owned and operated by Butler Amusements of Fairfield, California. It was manufactured by Chance Rides.

    The Stockton Police Department and the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health are investigating.

    Another crushed child
    - Kathy Fackler, SaferParks.org, June 21, 2006
    "The Giant Wheel was designed with open cars, no restraints at all, and a maximum loft of 90 feet. Despite the significant fall hazard, the manufacturer approved the ride for use by unaccompanied children as young as four years old. As a comparison, note that a U.S. employer can't legally send a trained adult worker 9 feet up in a cherry picker without a secure harness and tether."


    Inflatable ride collapse leaves 4 children injured

    (Saturday, June 10, 2006) - In La Mirada, California, four children were injured when an inflatable attraction toppled over, spilling them onto a street. One child was knocked unconscious and airlifted to an area hospital in critical condition. The other three were taken to local hospitals with minor injuries.


    Boy, 4, injured in fall from Rainbow

    (Friday, June 9, 2006) - A 4-year-old boy was injured when he fell from a ride known as the Rainbow at the Dixie Landin' Amusement Park in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Witnesses say the boy fell about 20 feet and was knocked unconscious. The boy was hospitalized with moderate injuries. Although one witness described the boy as a "baby," the park manager said that the child exceeded the ride's minimum height requirement.

    The ride was closed and the accident is under investigation.



    WCAU NBC 10, Philadelphia

    Rider rescued from carnival ride

    (Thursday, June 8, 2006) - In Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, a carnival ride stalled, stranding a single passenger. The local fire department rescued the rider, who was not injured.

    The ride was closed pending an inspection by state officials.


    Top Scan strands passengers at fair

    (Monday, June 5, 2006) - In Antwerp, Belgium, a Top Scan ride stalled, stranding 19 passengers in the air for up to two hours. The ride was lowered to its loading position manually. The riders were not injured, but two were treated for shock.



    Valleyfair's Wild Thing

    Valleyfair roller coaster derails; 14 injured

    (Sunday, May 21, 2006) - At Valleyfair theme park in Shakopee, Minnesota, 18 people suffered minor injuries when the rear car of a roller coaster train separated and derailed. The accident happened on the park's Wild Thing roller coaster as the 6-car train was being brought to a stop by the braking system shortly before it was to enter the station.

    The car came to rest tipped on its side on a platform adjacent to the track. The car to which it was attached also derailed but remained connected to the train. According to witnesses, that car may have been the one that caused the accident. They say they heard loud noises coming from underneath the car and seeing smoke. Others reported feeling the car shake. Apparently, the derailment of this car caused the rear car to derail completely.

    KSTP-TV

    Fourteen people were treated for minor strains and sprains at a local hospital, and all were released.

    Valleyfair is owned and operated by Cedar Fair of Sandusky, Ohio. Wild Thing was manufactured in 1996 by D. H. Morgan Manufacturing of La Selva Beach, California. It reaches a maximum height of 207 feet and reaches speeds up to 74 mph.

    The accident is under investigation.


    Jury enters "neutral" narrative verdict in Hydro death

    "Hayley was ejected from the Hydro ride because she was not properly restrained and died as a result of the injuries she sustained."


    Hydro
    (Friday, May 19, 2006) - A jury deliberated for two hours before entering a "neutral" narrative verdict in the case of a Hayley Williams, the 16-year-old girl who died in a 100-foot-fall from the Hydro ride at Oakwood Theme Park in Pembrokeshire, Wales in 2004. During the inquest, a 24-year-old ride supervisor and a 21-year-old ride assistant who were operating Hydro on the day of the accident, admitted that they did not physically check riders' safety belts and lap bars before the ride started. The supervisor also acknowledged that he only had a total of only 20 minutes of training on the ride.

    Michael Howells, the Pembrokeshire coroner, found that the evidence in the case did not merit a verdict of unlawful killing. He told jury members that an unlawful killing verdict could not be rendered, and that accidental death and a narrative verdict were the only conclusions they could make. A narrative verdict is a brief neutral summary of the facts that the jury finds to be proven.

    The jury foreman entered the verdict: "Hayley was ejected from the Hydro ride because she was not properly restrained and died as a result of the injuries she sustained."

    Patrick McNamara, the managing director of Oakwood, expressed sympathy for the girl's family. He said that Oakwood has always had the highest safety standards. In an earlier statement, McNamara said, "I'm perfectly happy with the training that's run by my training department."

    Alan Williams, Hayley's father, said, "We are disappointed that the jury were not allowed to decide whether Hayley was killed as a result of negligence of Oakwood.

    "Having heard the evidence we believe that she was and we suspect that anyone listening to the same evidence would agree with us.

    "Hayley did nothing wrong on the day she died, other than set foot in Oakwood Park."

    Beverley Williams, Hayley's mother, walked out of the inquest in shock and tears before making a statement.

    "What the hell is wrong with them? I don't believe it."

    RELATED STORIES:

  • Theme park safety record defended - BBC News, May 18, 2006
  • Supervisor had just 20 minutes' training on fatal ride - Western Mail, May 17, 2006
  • Death ride 'not given go signal' - BBC News, May 17, 2006
  • Death ride safety system 'unacceptable' - BBC News, May 17, 2006
  • Faulty lap restraint cited in Hydro death - United Press International, May 16, 2006
  • No criminal charges in 'Hydro' death (1/20/06)
  • Girl, 16, dead after 100-foot fall from Intamin's Hydro river plunge ride (4/15/04)


    Park worker killed in miniature train accident

    (Tuesday, May 16, 2006) - At Gulliver's theme park in Bucks, England, a 56-year-old maintenance engineer suffered fatal head injuries when the miniature train he was riding went into a tunnel. Investigators have not determined why the victim's head was outside the train. Park officials say that he had been working on the ride in an area that was not visible to patrons.

    A park spokesman called the accident "unprecedented in our history."

    "We would like to express our deepest sympathy for the family and friends following this tragic accident. It has been a very traumatic and upsetting time for everyone who knew and worked with him. The accident occurred away from the areas that are accessed by the public and as a result, visitors were not at risk in any way."


    Eight trapped on chairlift

    (Monday, May 15, 2006) - At Arthur's Seat National Park on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia, eight people were left stranded 12-20 feet in the air for up to three hours ona chariflit ride. Investigators say that a cable on the Arthurs Seat chairlift "jumped off one of its rails." The accident happened on the Arthurs Seat chairlift. Four of the ride's chairs collided. Emergency crews evacuated all of the passengers without incident, and no one was injured.

    Two years ago, a woman suffered two broken legs when two of the ride's chairs collided. In 2003, 19 passengers were injured after one of the ride's support towers failed, partially collapsing the ride. Four people suffered serious injuries including fractures and spinal injuries. Sixty-five other passengers were left stranded in their cars aboard the ride, but none of them was injured.



    Pleasure Beach's Evolution

    'Evolution' strands riders upside down

    (Sunday, May 14, 2006) - At Pleasure Beach in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, a thrill ride stalled, leaving seventeen people stranded upside down 60 feet in the air for six minutes. The incident happened on the Evolution ride. Park workers in safety harnesses climbed up to the manual control system and brought the ride down. One rider passed out and was treated at a hospital for an inner ear problem, blurred vision, and nausea. Other riders complained of headaches and dizziness.

    A Pleasure Beach spokesman said that the riders were not in any danger of falling out of the ride, and that the park has "a very good safety record."

    Investigators believe that an interruption in the power supply caused the ride's automatic locking system to engage.


    Roller coaster strands passengers at Six Flags America

    (Saturday, May 13, 2006) - Thirty-two people were left stranded for up to an hour on the 'Superman: Ride of Steel' roller coaster at Six Flags America theme park in Largo, Maryland. A Six Flags spokesman said that the ride shut itself down as a safety precaution when one of the ride's two trains stopped short of the loading station. The second train was climbing the lift hill and stopped at about 130-foot point. The passengers were unloaded as a safety precaution. They exited the ride via the catwalk that is adjacent to the lift hill. No one was injured.


    Cord snaps on reverse bungee ride

    (Sunday, May 7, 2006) - At Clarke Quay in Singapore, a reverse-bungee catapult ride known as G-MAX was shut down after a bungee cord snapped. No one was injured. The ride consists of two 100-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, sending the riders on a high-speed vertical launch 200 feet into midair. The cable snapped just before the vehicle was released.

    The ride was developed by Frontier Sports of New Zealand.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    Sinkhole topples carnival ride; three injured

    (Saturday, May 6, 2006) - At a carnival in Pasadena, California, a sinkhole underneath the parking lot caused an amusement ride to topple over, injuring three children. Firefighters rescued the children, along with nine others, all of whom were trapped in their seats.


    Four injured in waltzer accident

    (Friday, May 5, 2006) - In Cheshire, England, part of an amusement ride flew off and struck four bystanders, leaving three of them with minor injuries and one with a serious leg injury. The Health and Safety Executive is investigating.


    Car flies off Orbiter, crashes into food stall; 2 injured

    (Friday, May 5, 2006) - In Bilston, England, a car carrying two women broke off an Orbiter ride shortly after it started. The car fell about 20 feet to the ground and broke apart as it spun across the ground for 30 feet until it crashed into a food stand. The women were thrown out of the car as it broke apart. They were hospitalized with non-life-threatening serious head, neck, back, and spinal injuries. Some witnesses were treated at the scene for shock.

    The Orbiter passed several recent safety checks.

    The Health and Safety Executive is investigating.


    Boy, 2, injured in fall from carnival ride

    (Sunday, April 30, 2006) - At the Jefferson County Fair in Port Townsend, Washington, a 2-year-old boy was injured after he fell out of an amusement ride car. Apparently, the boy stood up, lost his balance, then fell to the ground. Three or four of the ride's cars then ran over him before the ride stopped. The ride is not equipped with seat belts.

    Witnesses said that the boy's foot became caught underneath one of the cars, and he was being dragged by the car as his mother rushed to pull him from the ride. One of the cars then ran over his head.

    The victim was airlifted to a Seattle hospital.


    Girl, 11, dead after fall from Titanic inflatable

    (Thursday, April 20, 2006) - An 11-year-old girl who fell 12 feet head-first from a Titanic inflatable ride in Barcelona, Spain on April 9, died after an 11-day coma.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    Two carnival rides collide at Arizona carnival

    (Sunday, April 16, 2006) - At a carnival in Arizona, a Kamikaze ride crashed into another ride, injuring a woman. Apparently, the rides were set up too close to each other.


    Latest Mission: Space victim died from bleeding of brain

    (Friday, April 14, 2006) - The autopsy of the 49-year-old woman who died after riding Disney's Mission: Space on Thursday revealed that the woman died as a result of bleeding of the brain, a condition that was brought on by her "severe, long-standing high blood pressure."


    Woman falls ill, dies after ride on Disney's Mission: Space

    (Thursday, April 13, 2006) - A 49-year-old woman died a day after she claimed to have suffered dizziness and nausea following a ride on Disney World's "Mission: Space" thrill ride. She died Wednesday at a hospital. Some reports indicate that the woman may have had high blood pressure and other unspecified health problems which could have been contributing factors in her death. An autopsy is planned.

    The ride was shut down temporarily as a precaution, however Disney officials said that park engineers and ride system experts completed a thorough inspection of the ride and found it to be operating properly. An inspector from Florida's Bureau of Fair Rides Inspection monitored the testing and said that he believed the ride was operating normally. The ride reopened Thursday.

    'Mission: Space' is a $100 million ride that simulates a rocket launch. It is billed by Disney as the "ultimate interactive thrill-packed adventure [that] is as close as you can get to blasting off into space without leaving Earth." The park's website warns riders that they "should be in good health and free from high blood pressure, heart, back or neck problems, motion sickness, or other conditions that could be aggravated by this adventure." Riders are also warned that the ride may cause motion sickness, and are asked to see the ride attendant for "further cautionary information."

    Last June, a 4-year-old boy died after he lost consciousness while riding 'Mission: Space.' He was carried off the ride by his mother, and then taken to a hospital where he later died. Investigators concluded that the ride had been operating normally. The boy's autopsy revealed that he died of an irregular heartbeat linked to an enlarged heart. According to the medical examiner, people who suffer from the condition are at risk for sudden death throughout their lives, especially in physically or emotionally stressful situations.


    Children trapped on roller coaster

    (Sunday, April 2, 2006) - Three children were left stranded on a roller coaster at the West Midlands Safari Park in Bewdley, England, after a glitch shut the ride down. The children were trapped at the highest point of the 40-foot-tall ride for nearly two hours. Park rescue teams were able to evacuate the children from the ride without incident.


    Jaro maintenance worker pleads guilty in Massachusetts Sizzler death

    (Wednesday, March 15, 2006) - Former Jaro Amusements ride supervisor and maintenance manager Brian McCullough pleaded guilty to a charge of involuntary manslaughter in the death of a man who fell out of a Sizzler amusement ride when his car fell apart at a Massachusetts church carnival in 2004. Investigators determined that the accident was a result of loose and undersized nuts and bolts that held the victim's seat together. Prosecutors said that McCullough failed to ensure that the ride was maintained properly. McCullough was sentenced to 2 1/2 years of probation.


    Roller coaster car derails, injuring carnival workers

    (Sunday, March 12, 2006) - At the Miami-Dade County Fair in Miami, Florida, four carnival workers were injured on the Galaxi Mark 1 roller coaster during a routine test run before the fair opened. The workers were inspecting the ride's equipment several days before the fair was scheduled to open to the public. They fell about six feet when their 2-car train derailed and tipped to the side. Four of the workers were treated at area hospitals and three others were treated at the scene.

    The ride was disassembled, removed from the fairgrounds, and taken to its owner's maintenance repair facility. The accident is under investigation.


    Malfunction brings swing ride to abrupt stop; 8 injured

    (Sunday, March 12, 2006) - Eight people suffered minor injuries at Six Flags Over Texas theme park in Arlington, Texas, after the "Texas Tornado" circular swing ride stopped suddenly after a malfunction. Witnesses said that the ride's swings collapsed, causing many of them to collide and become tangled. A park official said that there was a mechanical failure with one of the ride's bearings, and that the "unexpected interruption" of the ride occured when the operator engaged the emergency stop system. The ride's computer system had also detected the problem and engaged the emergency stop.

    The ride was shut down pending repairs and an inspection.


    Connecticut Supreme Court rules against worker killed in Boulder Dash accident

    (Tuesday, March 7, 2006) - The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that the estate of an amusement park worker who was killed by a roller coaster train on a test run cannot seek damages beyond his workers' compensation benefits. The man, a grounds keeper at Lake Compounce theme park in Bristol, Connecticut, was struck by a roller coaster train and killed by while he was working underneath the track of the park's Boulder Dash roller coaster in 2001. The lawsuit accused Lake Compounce and its owner, Kennywood Entertainment, of intentionally creating a dangerous workplace condition that made the victim's injuries substantially certain to occur.

    Initially, the trial court ruled in favor of the defendants, and lawyers representing the victim's estate appealed the decision. The Supreme Court took the case, but upheld the lower court ruling.

    Connecticut law shields employers from civil lawsuits resulting from workplace injuries unless a plaintiff can prove that the employer had the intent of injuring the employee, or intentionally created a dangerous work environment where the employee's injuries were substantially certain to occur. Both courts ruled that there was no evidence to suggest that the defendants had either intention. Writing for the majority, Justice Flemming Norcott Jr. stated, "Although the plaintiff's complaint contains numerous allegations of state and federal safety violations, inadequate communication procedures and deficient safety training, the complaint conspicuously omits any claim that the defendants intended harm to befall [the victim] or anticipated that harm would result from their conduct. "Although the plaintiff's complaint does assert that the defendants 'intentionally' failed to correct several dangerous conditions on the premises, this assertion, standing alone, is insufficient to satisfy the substantial certainty test because, as the trial court correctly stated, 'failure to take effective remedial action does not translate to an affirmative intent to create an injury-causing situation.'"


    Park worker killed in fall from roller coaster

    (Monday, March 6, 2006) - An amusement park worker was killed after falling out of the Atlantis Adventure roller coaster at the Lotte World amusement park in Seoul, South Korea. Investigators discovered that the 28-year-old victim, who was visiting the park on his day off, had been drinking, and that the operator of the ride allowed him to ride even though he had not lowered his safety bar or secured his seat belt. Safety regulations prohibit riders from boarding rides if they are under the influence of alcohol, and require that ride operators ensure that all passengers are properly secured before starting a ride. The victim fell about 70 feet from the topmost section of the ride, which is billed as a flume coaster, and landed in a lake. He was pronounced dead at the scene.


    Jury awards $3.6 million to woman injured on Six Flags roller coaster

    (Monday, March 6, 2006) - A woman who claimed she was injured while riding a roller coaster at the former Six Flags Worlds of Adventure in Aurora, Ohio, was awarded $3.6 million by a jury in Ohio. The woman claimed that she was struck by an object while she was traveling at about 60 mph on the Villain roller coaster in 2000. The woman's attorneys convinced the jury that Six Flags was negligent, citing testimony that indicated park officials were aware that people sometimes threw rocks at rides. Rocks covered the ground underneath the Villain roller coaster, and rocks were found on the ride's catwalk and along its track. Attorneys for the park argued that the woman was hit by a cell phone.

    Doctors removed pieces of bone from the woman's brain as well as a piece of her skull in order to relieve pressure on her brain. She also claims to suffer continued headaches and numbness in her face. The jury awarded the woman $1.1 million for medical and other expenses and another $2.5 million in punitive damages. Six Flags had offered to settle the case for $200,000.

    Six Flags no longer owns the Aurora park.


    Roller coaster stalls at carnival, stranding riders

    (Friday, March 3, 2006) - At the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in Houston, Texas, several children were left stranded at the top of a roller coaster called the Spinner for nearly an hour after the ride stalled. All of the riders later exited the ride without incident and no one was injured.


    Boy injured in fall from roller coaster

    (Saturday, February 25, 2006) - A 13-year-old boy was seriously injured when he fell out of a roller coaster, apparently because he stood up in response to a dare. The accident happened on the Triple Hurricane roller coaster at Cypress Gardens Adventure Park in Winter Haven, Florida. The boy eluded the lap bar restraint and was thrown from his car as it rounded a sharp turn near the end of the ride. He fell 10-12 feet to the ground.

    The Florida Bureau of Fair Rides Inspection blamed the accident on "patron error," and found no evidence there was a malfunction of the ride or the boy's safety restraint. Police investigators also blamed the accident on the victim's behavior.

    The boy's parents said they intend to sue the park for negligence. A park spokesman said, "We stand by the results of the completed investigations of state and local officials, which cleared the park of any negligence or error in this unfortunate accident."


    Riders stranded aboard Busch Gardens Skyride

    (Saturday, February 18, 2006) - At Busch Gardens theme park in Tampa, Florida, a cable car-type ride called Skyride stalled, leaving 73-75 passengers stranded in their gondolas, which are suspended 50 feet in the air. The ride shut itself down after one gondola misaligned at a point where cars change directions. The gondola was removed and the ride restarted two hours later. All of the riders exited the ride normally. No one was injured.

    The ride reopened Sunday after inspections revealed no mechanical or equipment problems. The Skyride is 32 years old and is inspected regularly.


    Man injured while boarding Disney World ride

    (Tuesday, February 14, 2006) - A 70-year-old man was injured when he attempted to board the Peter Pan's Flight attraction at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Police reports indicate that the man slipped from a conveyor belt as he was preparing to board the ride, and fell between two of the ride's slow-moving cars, which are designed to resemble flying galleon ships. The man was briefly pinned underneath one of the vehicles before the ride operator activated the ride's emergency stop system. He sustained only minor scrapes and bruises.

    The ride was shut down temporarily. Investigators found no indication that the ride had malfunctioned.


    No criminal charges in 'Hydro' death

    (Friday, January 20, 2006) - The Crown Prosecution Service says that no criminal charges will be filed in the 2004 death of a 16-year-old girl who fell 100 feet from 'Hydro,' an amusement ride at Oakwood theme park in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

    A statement by park officials said, "We have always had the very highest quality standards and procedures at Oakwood and fully co-operated with the investigation. We therefore feel that the decision by the Crown Prosecution Service not to prosecute is the right decision. Our thoughts, as always, are with the family at this difficult time."

    The Health and Safety Executive is continuing its own investigation.

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  • Girl, 16, dead after 100-foot fall from Intamin's Hydro river plunge ride (4/15/04)

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