When most think of an amusement park, we picture family fun filled with smiles and laughter. It’s a place people can go for a carefree good time. However, there is a much darker side behind our favorite amusement and theme parks.
This article may contain content too morbid for some readers, please continue with that in mind. These stories are not false, they are true incidents that have happened in 2007. The sickening truth is that serious injuries and fatalities are growing more and more in numbers as the years progress. Are people becoming more ignorant to ride rules? Or is this an issue with the parks maintenance itself. I personally feel it is a combination of both. People need to fully understand that ride rules are created for very legit reasons. If you do not follow these rules, there is a very good chance you will get hurt or even killed. And never attempt to ride an attraction if you have any suspicions that you could be at risk for a medical problem.
The other side of the problems are the parks safety maintenance itself. It is truly scary to think that every time we hop onto a roller coaster we are placing our lives and trust into the employees who inspect and ensure everything is in proper running order. I have personally known a maintenance technician who once informed me that he knew his fellow employees were not properly inspecting the ride correctly. They would just mark off the check list without even looking to see that everything was in good and working order, then go play on the companies computer and browse the Internet for leisure. It’s quite disgusting to think that there are people out there who care so little about the safety of all the families and children who will be riding the attraction.
Below are some ride accidents that have happened in just this year alone, and it is only a few of them. The actual count of how many fatalities and serious injuries in 2007 alone would make you cringe.
June 29, 2007 – Boomers, Dania Beach, Florida
I’m sure at some point in most people’s lives they have ridden some form of the spinning teacups ride. It’s the type of ride that leaves you in either laughter, or just wanting to throw up. For a young girl who was out and ready for fun, an unsuspected disaster struck while riding the teacups. Witnesses reported that during the ride she began to look very dizzy, her head wobbling almost like jello on her neck. Finally, her head fell backwards over the edge of her seat when the handle of another teacup came crashing into her skull. State inspectors have found no mechanical errors with the ride and the victim is alive, but in intensive care.
June 21, 2007 – Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, KY
Around 4:45pm, a young thirteen year old girl was riding the 177 foot tall, Superman Tower of Power ride when disaster struck. This ride is similar to many I’m sure most of you have seen, it’s a gondola which is slowly lifted and then dropped at high speeds giving you a momentary free fall. Sounds fun right? On June 21st it was anything but that for the young girl. As the gondola dropped a malfunction in the ride occurred and one of the cables came loose. The cable wrapped around the girls legs just above the ankle, severing both of her feet off.
June 16, 2007 – Geauga Lake, Aurora, Ohio
It wasn’t just another day of fun for the passengers on Raging Wolf Bobs roller coaster. While climbing one of the “hills”, the back car of the train derailed causing the entire coaster to roll backwards. Luckily in this case all 24 passengers were escorted off safely. The ride however had significant damages and was shut down.
May 5, 2007 – Expoland, Osaka, Japan
A popular roller coaster by the name of “Fukin Raijin II”, a stand up steel roller coaster was anything but exciting on this horrific day when it derailed. An axle on one of the cars broke while in motion, causing the car to jump off of the tracks. Parts of the wheel assembly were discovered beneath the ride. The amusement park admitted that the train axles had not been inspected regularly as they were supposed to and had not been serviced at all since February in 2006. Because of this negligence, 18 passengers suffered minor injuries, 1 rider had a serious head injury, and another woman at only age 19 was killed instantly.
For more details on these disasters as well as many others, visit http://www.rideaccidents.com/ a very detailed website for ride reports dating back to 1972.