2009 NEWS ARCHIVE

JANUARY

FEBRUARY

  • Girl falls from Avalanche ride at Florida fair (2/5/09)
  • Man dead after fall from roller coaster (2/14/09)
  • Roller coaster car derails; 4 injured (2/15/09)
  • Bungee cord snap causes near-fatal accident (2/19/09)

    MARCH

  • Roller coaster accident causes minor injuries (3/8/09)
  • Boy, 3, injured in inflatable play center (3/8/09)
  • Infant critically injured after fall from kiddie train ride (3/10/09)
  • Yo-Yo owner faulted for "serious maintenance deficiencies" in ride collapse (3/13/09)
  • $1.2 million settlement in Playland death (3/24/09)

    APRIL

  • Woman struck by amusement ride suffers serious injuries (4/10/09)
  • Woman breaks back in fairground fall (4/10/09)
  • Safety cord snaps during bungee jump; 25-year-old killed (4/11/09)
  • Carnival ride tips over; 6 injured (4/17/09)

    MAY

  • Child, 8, injured in fall from swing ride (5/2/09)
  • Accident closes flume ride at Hersheypark (5/9/09)
  • Boy, 2, killed by roller coaster after climbing onto track (5/12/09)
  • Teen drowns at Wet 'N' Wild Waterworld (5/15/09)
  • Park worker killed in roller coaster accident (5/18/09)
  • Boy suffers serious burns in go-kart accident (5/25/09)
  • Inflatable slide tears apart, injuring teen (5/25/09)

  • Girl, 18, strangled on go-kart

    (December 10, 2009) - At Cambridgeshire Raceway in Caxton, Cambridge, England, an 18-year-old girl was strangled on a go-kart when her scarf got caught in the car's engine. She died a day later from her injuries.

    Cambridgeshire Raceway company secretary Phil Meakins said that the accident happened after normal operating hours, when a worker had let six of his friends use the track.

    "We have such strict safety restrictions - this should never have happened," said Meakins.

    "All drivers have to wear race suits and helmets and they certainly wouldn't have been allowed to drive wearing a scarf - you can't even wear facial jewelery on the track. There are no excuses whatsoever."


    The Fiesta Shows Re-Mix II, shown with new lateral restraint bar.

    Manufacturer adds modifications to Re-Mix II

    (September 24, 2009) - An amusement ride that ejected a 15-year-old girl at a New Hampshire carnival on Sunday has reopened following modifications by its designer, Tivoli Manufacturing. Investigators concluded that the girl slipped from underneath her seat's overhead restraint, partially because a portion of her body was able to fit through a gap between the side rail and the overhead restraint. New safety rails were added to the sides of the passenger seats to close that gap and prevent future ejections.

    "We believe she slipped out under the restraint, but if this rail had been in place and this person had been kept behind this restraint, we don't believe it would have been possible for this person to be ejected," said Briggs Lockwood, director of the New Hampshire Bureau of Tramway and Amusement Ride Safety.

    Tivoli reports that there are six similar rides in the United States, and that the new rails would be installed on each of them.

    Fair accident probe turns to ride's design
    Union Leader, 9/24/09

  • Investigators: no malfunction, no operator error, and no rider misconduct
  • "... the only thing left is the ride's design ..."

  • Girl ejected from 'Re-mix II' at N.H. fair

    (September 20, 2009) - At the Rochester Fair in Rochester, New Hampshire, a teenager was ejected from a high-speed spinning ride called Re-mix II. She was flung into an aluminum fence that surrounded a ride called the Cobra, which was adjacent to the Re-mix II. An EMT arrived almost immediately, and found the girl in great pain and shock; she was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

    Re-mix II riders are secured by an over-the-shoulder restraint device. All of the restraints were in place when the ride came to a stop. Investigators have begun inspecting the ride and interviewing witnesses.

    The ride is only two years old; it is manufactured by Tivoli and operated by Fiesta Shows of Seabrook, N.H.

    UPDATE: Although investigators have not yet reached any conclusions about the cause of the accident, initial reports indicate that inspectors have yet to find any evidence to suggest that the accident was caused by a mechanical malfunction, operator error, or rider misbehavior. The ride remains closed and representatives of Tivoli are in New Hampshire to join the investigation.

    Xcelerator shut down after malfunction injures 2

    (September 16, 2009) - At Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, California, a 12-year-old boy and his father were injured on the Xcelerator roller coaster when a cable that launches the ride's trains broke apart. The cable sliced through the calf of the boy's left leg. The boy's father was treated for back injuries.

    The ride has been shut down. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health is investigating.

    In July 2004, a similar accident happened on Top Thrill Dragster, a roller coaster at Cedar Point Park in Sandusky, Ohio, leaving riders with cuts and minor injuries. Both Xcelerator and Top Thrill Dragster are manufactured by Intamin of Switzerland.

    UPDATE: The boy has been released from the hospital. Park officials said that the cables are replaced yearly according to specifications, and the cable that broke was installed in December. Investigators are inspecting the cable and working to determine what caused it to fail.


    Teleschau

    Girl, 11, killed in fall from log flume

    (September 7, 2009) - At a festival in Bavaria, Germany, an 11-year-old girl was killed in a 30-foot-fall from a log flume ride called Wildwater. She was alone in her car and fell when from one of the ride's highest points. She died while being transported by helicopter to a hospital in Munich.

    Inspectors found no evidence that the ride malfunctioned. They said that the ride's safety restraints were working, and could not explain how the girl fell.

    Kings Island: 'Son of Beast' shut down indefinitely
    Associated Press, August 10, 2009

    'Son Of Beast' to remain closed, possibly for good - WLWT News, 8/10/09
    Son of Beast report finds no irregularities - Dayton Daily News, 7/30/09
    Son of Beast related injuries have been reported six times - Springfield News-Sun, 7/30/09
    Son of Beast inspected more than any ride in Ohio - Cincinnati Enquirer, 7/23/09


    BBC

    Roller coaster crash injures 21

    (August 11, 2009) - At Blackpool Pleasure Beach in Blackpool, England, two roller coaster trains collided on the Big Dipper roller coaster, leaving 21 people with injuries including whiplash, broken bones and back injuries. Witnesses said that one of the trains stalled on the track and the other train, which was moving at some speed, crashed into it. The collision left both trains stopped on the track; one was left about 20 feet off the ground and the other came to rest close to the ground.

    A special rope rescue team evacuated the riders using stretchers and spinal boards. Ambulances transported riders to hospitals for treatment. Most were released after they received treatment for relatively minor injuries. At least one of the victims was scheduled to undergo facial surgery.

    Thirty-two people were aboard the ride at the time of the accident.

    The Big Dipper, a wooden roller coaster, opened in 1923. The ride has been shut down pending an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive.


    CBS

    Roller coaster malfunction leaves 24 riders stranded

    (August 10, 2009) - At Great America theme park in Santa Clara, California, 24 people were left stranded between 40 and 80 in the air when a roller coaster malfunctioned, according to rescue workers who were called to the scene. The incident happened on Invertigo, an inverted looping shuttle coaster. The Santa Clara and San Jose fire departments were called to the park and used cherry pickers to bring riders to safety, one at a time. The evacuation was expected to take 4-5 hours.

    Man dies after roller coaster ride

    (August 8, 2009) - A 38-year-old man died after he was rushed to a hospital with breathing problems he suffered on the Firehawk roller coaster at Kings Island theme park in Mason, Ohio. Park workers noticed that the man was having trouble breathing when his train returned to the loading station and called for an ambulance.

    UPDATE: Firehawk reopened August 9 after inspectors found it to be in proper operating condition.

    Rapids ride raft capsizes; 4 injured

    (August 4, 2009) - At Alabama Adventures theme park in Bessemer, Alabama, four people suffered scrapes and bruises when a river rapids raft capsized on the park's Wild River Gorge ride. According to one of the victims, the raft collided with an empty raft that appeared to be stuck in the water. The collision caused the victims' raft to capsize.

    The riders were underwater for 20 seconds, locked in their seats with seat belts.

    "It flipped over with us in it. We were in our seatbelts upside down," said one of the riders.

    "We kept fighting and squirming until we could get our seatbelts off and get out."

    The park offered the riders season passes and asked them to sign forms releasing the park of liability; both offers were refused.

    The ride has been shut down.

    In 1999, five people suffered injuries after their raft capsized on the same ride. That accident happened when two of the ride's rafts were too close together during the ride, and they began bumping each other until one finally flipped over. The passengers became trapped upside-down in their seats beneath the surface of the water until park personnel freed them.

    In 2001, a raft filled with park employees capsized on the same ride. It was determined that the employees were rocking the raft and caused it to tip.

    Officials: lifeguards below compliance one day after toddler drowned

    Associated Press, August 3, 2009

    Boy, 3, drowns at Kalahari Water Park

    (August 2, 2009) - A 3-year-old boy drowned in an outdoor children's pool at the Kalahari Resorts water park in Sandusky, Ohio. Lifeguards were on duty at the time the boy died.

    The Ohio Department of Agriculture’s amusement ride safety division has taken disciplinary action against the resort at least four times since it opened in 2005. In 2008, state officials reported that Kalahari Resort is cited more frequently for safety violations than any other Ohio water park.

    The most recent complaint cited a total of 11 violations in eight separate areas in the park.

    At least five lawsuits were filed against Kalahari by people who say they were injured there.

    In a May 7, 2008 letter addressed to Kalahari President Todd Nelson, Amusement Ride Safety Division Chief James Truex said inspectors found the resort had 14 fewer guards than its plan specified, and that two guards on duty had invalid certification. The department also found that “many water rides were operated in a careless and unsafe manner.”

    Woman injured in fall from Ferris wheel

    (July 31, 2009) - A woman suffered a minor injury when she fell from the loading platform of a Ferris wheel at a carnival in the Castle Shannon area of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. According to reports, the woman was boarding the Ferris wheel with her son when a bolt in the ride's clutch failed, causing the car to move suddenly. The two fell off the loading platform.

    Carnival worker injured in fall

    (July 25, 2009) - A carnival worker suffered serious head and neck injuries when he slipped from a platform and fell 15 feet while dismantling a Ferris wheel after heavy rains in Hilton, New York.

    Roller coaster derails, crashes; 7 injured

    (July 25, 2009) - Seven children suffered minor injuries when a popular kiddie roller coaster called the Dragon Wagon derailed at a carnival in the Pelham Bay area of the Bronx, New York. Firefighters said that the cars ran off the track and fell about four feet.

    "We made a close loop toward the end of the ride and the whole thing tilted over and fell," said a 9-year-old boy, who suffered a scraped wrist.

    Another witness said she "saw the whole ride tip over coming over a turn."

    The ride is operated by Tri-Star Amusements.

    Man, 48, drowns at Denver-area water park

    (July 21, 2009) - A 48-year-old man drowned in the Captain Jack wave pool at Water World theme park in Federal Heights, Colorado.

    Worker falls from Busch Gardens Skyride

    (July 18, 2009) - A 20-year-old ride operator was injured in a 35-foot-fall from the Skyride at Busch Gardens theme park in Tampa, Florida. The accident happened when the operator checked to make sure that gondola door was locked as the car was leaving the loading station. He held on to the door as the car continued to move. He let go after the car traveled about 50 feet and fell over the park's Jungala attaction.

    The man suffered was hospitalized in fair condition, and is expected to fully recover. No one else was injured.

    Park trains collide at Houston aquarium

    (July 11, 2009) - At the Downtown Aquarium in Houston, Texas, two miniature trains collided at the ride's loading zone. At least 27 people were evaluated at hospitals, but no one was seriously injured.

    The trains sustained minimal damage.

    Teen drowns in pool at water park

    (July 10, 2009) - A 14-year-old boy drowned in the filtration system of a swimming pool in Pattaya, Thailand. It is believed that the teen was searching for his goggles. He opened a grille at the bottom of the pool and was sucked into the piping. He was trapped in the system for 30 minutes before staff – who refused to believe he was there – opened the pump room and discovered his body.

    Thai police are investigating.

    Carnival worker injured

    (July 7, 2009) - A 41-year-old carnival worker suffered a serious injury while setting up a Ferris wheel at a carnival in Taylorville, Illinois. His left arm was crushed when part of the ride's structure collapsed.

    TEXAS GIANT

    Inspector says Texas Giant car lost position on track
    Dallas Morning News, 7/6/09
  • Richard told The Dallas Morning News that an "up-stop wheel" – which is supposed to help hold running wheels down on the track – somehow failed on the train's last car.
  • The car "disengaged from its proper position" and was dragged 200 to 300 feet until the whole train stopped, he said. It remained attached to the car in front of it by a bar and thick steel cables.
  • Six Flags continued to withhold details Monday of what went wrong and how it was fixed.

    "On Friday, the ride was thoroughly inspected by Six Flags engineers and an inspector from the state Department of Insurance and has been cleared to reopen."

    "We did not do any inspections. We do not have any inspectors."

    - Six Flags spokeswoman Sharon Parker
    - Department of Insurance spokesman Jerry Hagins

    Texas Giant coaster at Six Flags remains closed
    Star-Telegram, 6/29/09
  • DISNEY MONORAIL FATALITY

    3 employees suspended in wake of Disney crash
    WESH, Orlando, 7/9/09

    Botched attempt to switch train to another track
    may have caused fatal Disney World monorail accident

    Orlando Sentinel, 7/6/09


    WESH, Orlando

    NTSB releases statement

    (July 8, 2009) - The National Transportation Safety Board has developed the following factual information from its investigation of the collision of two trains on the monorail system at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, that occurred early Sunday morning:

    At about 2 a.m. on July 5th, a Walt Disney World monorail train, designated the Pink train, backed into another monorail train, designated the Purple train, near the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC) monorail station. The operator of the Purple train was fatally injured; the six passengers on that train were treated at the scene. The operator of the Pink train, who was transported to the hospital, treated and released, was the only one aboard that train at the time of the collision.

    Prior to the accident, the Pink train had been instructed to detrain all passengers at the TTC station and then to operate without passengers past the station and a switch to a point where the train could be backed through the track switch from the Epcot loop over to the Magic Kingdom loop. The operator of the Pink train moved the train past the track switch and stopped.

    The Pink train was then instructed to back through the track switch, towards the Magic Kingdom loop. At about the same time, the Purple train, which was inbound to the TTC station, was instructed to stop at the station to detrain passengers. For undetermined reasons that are currently under investigation, the switch had not changed position needed to allow the Pink train to be routed to the Magic Kingdom loop, which resulted in the Pink train backing down the same track it had just come from, putting it on a collision course with the Purple train. The Pink train passed through the TTC station and struck the Purple train while it was outside the station.

    There are indications that the operator of the Purple train had brought the train to a stop and had attempted to put the train in reverse prior to the collision. To this point in the investigation, no anomalies or malfunctions have been found with the automatic train stop system or with any mechanical components of the switch or with either of the trains.

    The on-scene phase of the investigation is expected to continue for several days.

    The parties to the investigation are Walt Disney World, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Orange County Sherriff's Office, and the Transportation and Communications International Union.


    "We have increased the amount of verification required to switch tracks,
    and we've communicated that to our monorail [employees]."
    - Disney spokesman Michael Griffin

    Disney reopens monorail after fatal crash
    WESH 2 News, Orlando, 7/6/09

    Disney World monorail crash kills 21-year-old

    (July 5, 2009) - Two monorail trains crashed at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, leaving a 21-year-old man dead. The collision happened at 2:00am on the track near the Ticket and Transportation Center, where guests board the monorail for transport to various Disney parks and properties. The victim was the operator of one of the trains; he was pronounced dead at the scene.

    Six people were examined by EMTs at the scene and released.

    Witnesses said that the trains were carrying passengers from Epcot after a fireworks display.

    The Orange County Sheriff's Office, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

    Islands of Adventure worker struck by roller coaster

    (July 1, 2009) - A Universal Studios Islands of Adventure theme park in Orlando, Florida, a park worker was injured while working at the Dueling Dragons roller coaster before the park opened to the public. Another employee called 911 and reported that the victim was "hit by one of the ride vehicles at Dueling Dragons" and was unresponsive.

    The victim was rushed to a hospital.

    The ride opened after park officials determined that it was operating properly.

    Scare at Buchanan fair puts spotlight on ride safety
    - Roanoke Times, 7/1/09

    Octopus malfunctions

    (June 29, 2009) - At a carnival in Buchanan, Virginia, three teenagers fell 15-20 feet when an Octopus ride malfunctioned and their car fell to the ground. Inspectors discovered that a bracket had broken, apparently due to excessive wear. The bracket cracked in a place that was not visible during routine inspections and would have been discovered only if the ride had been disassembled.

    One of the teens suffered minor injuries.

    The ride is owned and operated by Magic Midway of Georgia.

    "I could have died."

    - 11-year-old Tyler Maloney, who flipped 40 feet into the air when an inflatable ride went flying in the wind

    “They were blowing end to end — over a car, over fences."
    “That could have been anyone’s child in there."

    - Linda Tucker, witness
    Another inflatable ride accident
    Linda Tucker via Middletown Journal

    Another inflatable ride accident sends boy flying; several injured

    (June 27, 2009) — In Middletown, Ohio, an inflatable ride went flying 40 feet into the air with an 11-year-old boy inside, who escaped serious injury by hanging on until bystanders stabbed the ride with knives, deflating it.

    Several other children suffered minor injuries when they were bumped or scraped by the ride as it flipped several times during its flight.

    Massachusetts inflatable provider charged with manslaughter

    (June 25, 2009 ) - A Massachusetts-based company has been charged with manslaughter in the death of a woman who fell from an inflatable climbing wall and died from her injuries several days later. The company, Just for Fun Rentals, operated the device at a festival in May, 2005.

    According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety (DPS), the company did not operate the attraction properly, did not properly train the attendant, did not keep proper records as required by state, and did not have a permit to operate the attraction. The DPS also says that its inspectors were unable to inspect the wall because Just For Fun Rentals did not notify the state of its intention to operate the attraction, as required by law.

    A spokesman for the company denies criminal wrongdoing and said that he expects the company to be fully exonerated.

    RELATED STORIES:
  • Woman, 24, dead after fall from inflatable climbing wall

  • Teen paralyzed after flip on inflatable ride

    (June 21, 2009) - In Denison, Texas, a 17-year-old boy was left partially paralyzed when he fell on his neck after a back flip while playing on an inflatable ride.

    Inflatable slide tears apart, injuring teen

    (May 25, 2009) - In Lumberton, Texas, a 14-year-old girl was injured after falling through an inflatable slide that had ripped open from top to bottom. The girl fell 26 feet to the ground and suffered a fractured arm, a bruised hip bone, and a concussion.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES

    Boy suffers serious burns in go-kart accident

    (May 25, 2009) - At the Palm Beach International Raceway in Jupiter, Florida, a 7-year-old boy was seriously burned when his go-kart tipped over and caught fire. He was airlifted to a hospital where he is being treated for second-degree burns on nearly half of his body.

    The go-kart is owned by the victim's family.

    Park worker killed in roller coaster accident

    (May 18, 2009) - At PortAventura theme park in Tarragona, Spain, a 55-year-old maintenance worker was struck by a train of roller coaster cars and killed. The victim was carrying out routine maintenance on the Tomahawk, a wooden roller coaster.

    The ride was shut down temporarily, but reopened hours later after investigators determined that the ride itself had not malfunctioned.

    Teen drowns at Wet 'N' Wild Waterworld

    (May 15, 2009) - At Wet 'N' Wild Waterworld in Anthony, Texas, a 14-year-old boy was found at the bottom of a swimming pool. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital after revival attempts by lifeguards and emergency responders failed.

    An autopsy is planned.

    Boy struck by roller coaster
    Associated Press

    Boy, 2, killed by roller coaster after climbing onto track

    (May 12, 2009) - At the Ducketts Common funfair in north London, England, a 2-year-old boy was killed after he climbed onto the track of a kiddie roller coaster and got struck by the oncoming cars. Witnesses said that the boy exited a bouncy castle where he had been playing, then made his way to the adjacent Go-Gator roller coaster, which was only a few yards away. There was a barrier between the two attractions, but investigators believe that the boy either slid through them or underneath them.

    Emergency workers rushed the boy to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

    A spokesman for the carnival told reporters that the ride operator activated the emergency stop, but that "nobody saw the little boy until the train hit him," and it was too late.

    The Health and Safety Executive is investigating. The carnival has been shut down.

    The carnival was operated by JEA Manning and Sons.

    Accident closes flume ride at Hersheypark

    (May 9, 2009) - At Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania, a pipe break on the Coal Cracker log flume ride caused several boats to bump into each other. One woman was evaluated at a local hospital and released. The ride was shut down after the incident but was expected to reopen later in the week.

    "We can preliminarily say it was a mechanical issue," said a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

    “I want people to know that we take safety very seriously, we always have. I want people to feel comfortable that I operate and maintain all my attractions with safety in mind... I cannot stress enough, the ride was properly registered and permitted. I went to the state and pulled documents (the inspection and maintenance history of the ride) when I bought it." - Harry Mason, owner of Midway of Fun / Brass Ring Amusements

    Collapsed Yo-Yo owner sues state over OSHA report
    Calaveras Enterprise, 5/8/2009

    Child, 8, injured in fall from swing ride

    (May 2, 2009) - An 8-year-old suffered minor injuries in a fall from a mechanical swing ride at a carnival in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Investigators believe that the child was began to come out of the swing as the ride was slowing to a stop.

    “There was no apparent malfunction of the machinery,” said a fair spokesman, and the child's size was not thought to be a contributing factor in the accident.

    The ride passed a state inspection two weeks ago.

    Carnival ride collapses; 6 injured
    KIRO 7 Eyewitness News

    Carnival ride tips over; 6 injured

    (April 17, 2009) - At the Puyallup Spring Fair in Puyallup, Washington, five children and one adult suffered minor injuries when a kiddie ride called the Lolly Swing tipped over. Fourteen children were on the ride at the time of the accident, most of whom suffered minor cuts or bruises.

    The ride was manufactured by Zamperla of Italy and is operated by Funtastic Traveling Shows of Portland, Oregon. It passed a state inspection on Wednesday.

    Inspectors said it could take weeks before the exact cause of the accident is determined. Some have suggested the possibility that the ground, which had become saturated with rain, may have collapsed under the weight of the ride.

    According to the Seattle Times, a Lolly Swing tipped over in Hollywood, Florida in 1997, injuring five people. That accident was blamed on metal fatigue.

    "Bhargava did the bungee jumping, thinking that all the instruments are strong and safe...
    But it was his fate that the clasp wrenched off the string and he plunged to death."
    - Abhishek Pesala, relative of 25-year-old V. Bhargava

    Safety cord snaps during bungee jump; 25-year-old killed

    (April 11, 2009) - In Bangalore, India, a 25-year-old man was killed in a 150-foot-fall when a safety belt snapped during a bungee jump. Police said that the event organizers did not have a license to operate a bungee jump. Two event organizers have been arrested and charged with negligence.

    RELATED STORIES -- BUNGEE RIDES
  • Broken harness blamed for bungee ride death in Canada (8/24/98)
  • Bungee rides close in New Jersey; designer, inspector fined $20,000 (10/29/98)
  • Canadian officials charge bungee ride company, owner (1/20/99)
  • Bungee ride owner gets two months to decide plea (3/26/99)
  • Bungee ride owner pleads not guilty (5/21/99)
  • Owner of fatal bungee ride admits he altered ride after inspection (11/27/99)
  • Anderson Ventures found guilty in Rocket Launcher death (2/22/00)
  • Anderson Ventures fined a record $145,000 for Rocket Launcher death (4/25/00)
  • Man falls 300 feet to his death in bungee ride accident (5/15/00)
  • Mobile bungee rides banned in Ontario (7/5/00)
  • Bungee ride malfunctions at Daytona Beach; 2 injured (7/21/00)
  • One dead, one injured in bungee ride accident (6/3/01)
  • Bungee cord snaps on Texas thrill ride; 2 injured (7/29/01)
  • Bungee jump accident kills 2 in Italy (5/1/02)
  • Ejection Seat cable snaps at Oregon carnival (6/9/02)
  • Fairground worker killed in Slingshot accident (8/4/02)
  • Slingshot ride cable snaps at Ohio State Fair, stranding riders (8/5/02)
  • Man killed in 180-foot fall after bungee cord disengages (8/26/02)
  • Girl, 14, killed in bungee ride mishap (8/9/04)
  • Bungee cord snaps; rider hospitalized (7/12/05)
  • Ride operator injured in 'Springshot' mishap (7/16/05)
  • Another bungee ride malfunctions (7/24/05)
  • Bungee jumper nearly strangled (8/1/05)
  • Cord snaps on reverse bungee ride (5/7/06)
  • Riders stranded after reverse bungee ride malfunctions (6/22/06)
  • Bungee cord snaps on Ejection Seat ride; 2 injured (8/2/06)
  • Teenage girl killed in fall from bungee ride (7/14/07)
  • Two women rescued from bungee ride after mishap (7/26/08)
  • Bungee cord snap causes near-fatal accident (2/19/09)
  • Woman breaks back in fairground fall

    (April 10, 2009) - A 27-year-old woman was injured when an amusement ride car collapsed at the Chapelfield Gardens Easter fair in Norwich (UK). The woman suffered a fractured lumbar vertebrae and was hospitalized.

    The accident happened on a ride called Jumpin' Frog, which consists of rotating hydraulic arms that rise and fall as they rotate through the air. The victim stated that the accident happened as the ride was coming to a stop. She said that the cars had just begun to slowly lower to the ground when hers collapsed suddenly.

    The ride passed subsequent safety checks and was reopened.

    Woman struck by Hurricane ride
    WOIO-TV

    Woman struck by amusement ride suffers serious injuries

    (April 10, 2009) - At a carnival inside the International Exposition Center in Cleveland, Ohio, a woman was struck by a ride that had started before she exited to the platform. The woman had boarded the Hurricane ride and been secured into her seat, but then changed her mind and asked to leave the ride. A ride operator unlatched her safety bar and and allowed her to exit the car. The ride started before the woman left the ride's path. She was struck and knocked to the floor. She suffered a broken pelvis, wrist, and collarbone; 4 broken ribs, and a punctued lung. She was hospitalized in intensive care and was listed in serious condition.

    The ride operator is on administrative leave.

    The ride was passed state and city inspections prior to the opening of the fair. It was temporarily closed until state inspectors deemed it safe for operation.

    Official: Fatal Playland ride shouldn't have happened
    Newsday, 3/19/09

    Lawyer: Ride had history of breaking daily
    Journal News, 3/21/09

    $1.2 million settlement in Playland death

    (Monday, March 24, 2009) - After two days of testimony in a wrongful-death civil trial, the parents of 7-year-old Jon-Kely Cassara, who died at Playland Park in 2005, have agreed to settle their lawsuit against the park's owner, Westchester County, for $1.25 million. Westchester County also agreed to established a scholarship in the boy's name.

    Cassara fell from his boat as it was traveling through Ye Old Mill, an indoor boat ride. The boy, who was allowed to ride without an adult, exited his boat during the ride, and fell. He died from a blunt head injury. His body was found in the channel.

    The County was accused of negligence in the boy's death because the ride was understaffed at the time he died.

    Joseph Montalto, the director of Playland at the time of the accident, testified that the ride should not have been operating with only two operators, and that only one of the two workers operating the ride was licensed to do so. Montalto also acknowledged a statement he made in a 2007 deposition that "Jon-Kely Cassara should not have been permitted to be on that ride."

    Operator blamed for Yo-Yo collapse
    KCRA, Sacramento

    Yo-Yo owner faulted for "serious maintenance deficiencies" in ride collapse

    (Friday, March 13, 2009) - The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has issued a report that faults the owner of a Yo-Yo amusement ride for its collapse. Brass Ring Amusements, also known as Midway of Fun, operated the ride at a fair last May. The company is owned by Harry Mason, who is faulted by investigators for operating the ride with significant maintenance deficiencies. Twenty-one riders were injured when the ride suddenly collapsed.

    Among OSHA findings:

  • The sweeps of YO-YO C#3041 "collapsed" because the spider bearing assembly slipped off of the cylinder rod, thus losing the power to pull down the sweep's top ends. This happened because the two lock nuts that were holding down the spider bearing assembly rotated off and disengaged from the threaded end of the cylinder rod.

  • Failure analysis performed by Anamet concluded, as did the Division, that at the time of the accident, the lock nuts had disengaged from the threaded end of the cylinder rod of the spider assembly. Further results of the Anamet study have lead the Division to make the following conclusions:
  • The lock nuts loosened and rotated off because of the failure of a lock washer designed to hold the lock nuts in place and keep them from rotating. The lock washer had 19 outer tabs and one inner tab. As designed, one of the outer tabs was bent 90 degrees upward and fitted into a slot in the upper lock nut. The inner tab of the lock washer was bent 90 degrees downward and fitted into a keyway in the cylinder rod. The lock washer failed because the inner tab fractured and broke off of it.
  • The accident occurred on YO-YO C#3041 because it was operating with a lock washer that had lost its ability to prevent a loosening rotation of the lock nut when the inner tab broke away from the lock washer. Examination of the fractured tab under magnification indicated that it failed suddenly in a manner that could only have occurred during service on the spider assembly when the lock washer was rotated clockwise with the upper lock nut while the lock nut was being tightened. The inner tab that was fixed in the cylinder rod keyway broke away from the lock washer inner face as it followed the movement of upper lock nut during the tightening of the lock nut. Thread imprints on the fracture face indicate that the lock washer rotated clockwise about 1/2-inch while the inner tab was kept captive in the keyway of the shaft onto which the nut was being tightened.
  • It is evident through statements and documentation... and by observation of the physical state of disrepair the ride was in at the time of the accident, that this attraction had not been properly maintained... prior to the accident. Furthermore, Mr. Mason, as a ride owner, failed to become familiar enough with the YO-YO attraction to establish, implement and document a comnprehensive safety program of inspection and repair in accordance with Chance specifications and applicable Title 8 regulations, in order to safely operate the YO-YO.

  • While conducting the accident investigation, the Division observed significant maintenance deficiencies on Yo-YO C#3041.
  • More than 14 electrical deficiencies were found, involving loose and exposed electrical conductors. Most of these electrical wiring problems could be observed without the removal of scenery panels.
  • The hydraulic system had leaks, and several pressure gauges were missing on the main hydraulic unit. A separate and temporary hydraulic unit was being used during the assembly process.
  • A large amount of oily residue was found throughout the attraction.
  • Seven of the chairs were out of service, and many of the recent welds still contained slag that prevented employees from performing proper inspections.
  • 5-year re-build as per Chance Service Bulletin #B376R1077-0 (Effective Date: May 16, 1990). Records supplied by Mr. Mason did not indicate that this re-build had been performed.
  • Chance Bulletin #B376CRM146-A (Effective Date: March 21, 2006) was not performed.
  • The required tag on the hydraulic cylinder containing all the necessary information that is required by Chance was missing at the time of the accident.
  • The information that is steel-stamped into the barrel of the cylinder and identifies the cylinder and part number was covered and not able to be identified at the time of the accident.

  • Midway of Fun's maintenance training program in place at the time of the YO-YO accident failed to follow the ASTM F770-06 as required by the California Labor Code section 7916(a). ASTM F770-06 section 6.1 requires each Owner/Operator of an amusement ride or device to read and become familiar with the contents of the manufacturer's recommended maintenance instructions and specifications, when received.

  • Midway of Fun's Owner/Operator (Mr. Mason) did not read and become familiar with all of the YO-YO ride's instructions and specifications when he received the attraction and, as a result, failed to implement a program of maintenance based on the manufacturer's recommendations. Furthermore, the maintenance program in place was not maintained.

  • Had Midway of Fun's maintenance program been sufficient, the YO-YO would have been inspected and maintained to conform to all of Chance's specifications. On inspection that would have been performed was the inspection called for by CRM Bulletin B#376CRM146-A, dated March 21, 2006. That bulletin advised all owners immediately and annually thereafter to inspect the sweep lift cylinder bearing assembly and its connection to the sweep lift cylinder rod to ensure that the parts are functioning properly and that the lock nut connection is secure. According to Mr. Mason, this inspection was never performed while Midway of Fun operated YO-YO C#3041. If the inspection had been performed as called for by the bulletin, it is possible that the loosening of the lock nut would have been detected before it led to the lock nut spinning completely off the assembly.

  • Mr. Mason had previously worked with and operated another YO-YO attraction (C#17371) for Midway of Fun in 2001 at the Sacramento County Fair, and was familiar with YO-YOs enough to have known that a 5-year re-build was required. In 2001, while inspecting YO-YO C#17371, the Division discovered that the YO-YO's hydraulic cylinder 5-year certification had expired. Mr. Mason was instructed to correct the situation and was instrumental in calling Chance to receive a one time extension, for a short number of days, to operate before sending the cylinder back for its re-build. The manufacturer of this attraction does not have a record of any inquiries or requests from Midway of Fun for updated operating manuals, attraction bulletins, or maintenance records.

  • ... The Owner/Operator, Harry Mason of Midway of Fun, failed to ensure that his YO-YO attraction was safe to operate when he first received the attraction. As a result, he operated an attraction that did not have all of the required inspections, certifications, and documentation in place to ensure its safe operation.

    State of California
    Department of Industrial Relations
    Division of Occupational Safety and Health
    Amusement Ride Unit
    Accident Investigation Report

  • Infant falls from kiddie train
    CBS 4 Miami

    Infant critically injured after fall from kiddie train ride

    (Tuesday, March 10, 2009) - At a mall in Cutler Bay, Florida, a 12-month-old boy suffered severe head injuries when he fell 2-3 feet from a mechanical kiddie train. He landed on his head, then was partially run over by the train before it could be stopped. Rescue workers arrived to find the child unconscious and unable to breathe on his own. They began CPR, revived him, then transported him via helicopter to Miami Children's Hospital, where he was listed in critical condition.

    The Miami-Dade Police Department is investigating the accident and the ride has been shut down.

    UPDATE: The boy died from his injuries on March 17, 2009.

    "You think you go into a bounce house you're okay, safe. You're not safe."

    - Kim Thurman, mother of boy injured in latest inflatable attraction incident

    Boy, 3, injured in inflatable play center

    (Sunday, March 8, 2009) - A 3-year-old boy suffered scrapes on his forehead after he became stuck in the crevice of an inflatable bounce house. The incident happened at a play center called Boomerangs Party & Play in Flower Mound, Texas. The boy's grandmother was waiting for him at the entrance to the attraction, but after some minutes had passed, she realized something was wrong. Initially, it was thought that the boy was kidnapped. Employees rushed about the building searching for the boy, then called police. The police department and the fire department joined the search for the child. An hour later, firefighters ordered employees to deflate the attraction. The boy was discovered deep in a crevice, asleep. He suffered friction burns on his forehead.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES

    Roller coaster accident causes minor injuries

    (Sunday, March 8, 2009) - At Jeepers amusement center in Albany, New York, several children suffered minor injuries after a wheel of a kiddie roller coaster car broke, causing the ride to stop abruptly in the middle of its run. Two children were treated for cits and bruises at a hospital; the others were treated at the scene.

    The ride was shut down, pending repairs and an inspection.

    Bungee cord snap causes near-fatal accident

    (Thursday, February 19, 2009) - A 49-year-old man escaped serious injury when his bungee cord snapped during a jump from a 400-foot high bridge over Canyon Creek in Amboy, Washington. The man fell into the creek as the cord began to retract, when he was only about 25 feet from the surface of the water. He complained of feeling sore, but suffered no serious injury.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES

    Coaster car derails; 4 injured
    The Hindu

    Roller coaster car derails; 4 injured

    (Sunday, February 15, 2009) - At the Tourism and Trade Fair in Chennai, India, 4 people were injured when a roller coaster car derailed.

    Reports indicate that two sections of track rails separated when a bolt that held them together came off.

    Man dead in fall from Star Flyer roller coaster
    Flickr.com

    Man dead after fall from roller coaster

    (Saturday, February 14, 2009) - A 37-year-old man was killed after falling 30-40 feet from a roller coaster at Star City theme park in Pasay City, Philippines. The accident happened on a compact, inverted-type roller coaster called the Star Flyer.

    Park officials say that the ride's safety system was operating properly at the time of the incident, and that it is impossible for someone to fall from the ride unless he intentionally eluded the restraint harness before it was locked.

    According to a ride attendant, the victim had asked whether falling from the ride would be fatal. Several witnesses reported seeing the man escaping from his harness as the ride began.

    A lawyer for the park said that there was "no failure in the safety mechanism of the Star Flyer" that caused the victim's death. The man's restraint device was found in the locked position after the incident. Police are investigating.

    Girl falls from Avalanche ride at fair
    WINK-TV
    Amusement ride that teen fell from gets clean bill of health
    Naples Daily News, 4/6/09

    Girl falls from Avalanche ride at Florida fair

    (Thursday, February 5, 2009) - At the Collier County Fair in Naples, Florida, a 16-year-old girl fell 20 feet from an amusement ride called the Avalanche. She was hospitalized with five broken ribs and a bruised lung. One witness says that the girl's harness opened when the ride was at its highest point.

    The Avalanche consists of a 24-passenger gondola that circles through the air vertically. It is operated by Reithoffer Shows, and passed a state inspection before the fair opened on Thursday.

    The Florida Department of Consumer Services is investigating the accident.

    Return to RideAccidents.com