Park and state inspectors found the ride to be operating normally.
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.
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
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.
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.
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."
(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."
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
Girl, 16, dead after 100-foot fall from Intamin's Hydro river plunge ride (4/15/04)