2008 NEWS ARCHIVE

JANUARY

  • Water slide fails at Siam Park; 28 children injured (1/12/08)
  • Carnival worker, 15, killed as workers dismantle ride (1/27/08)

    FEBRUARY

    MARCH

  • Man injured in jump from carnival ride (3/21/08)
  • Ride collapses in South Africa (3/21/08)
  • Worker killed while inspecting ride (3/24/08)

    APRIL

  • OSHA: boy who drowned at Great America floated for 39 seconds (4/12/08)
  • Maintenance workers faulted in Kentucky Kingdom drop tower accident (4/14/08)
  • Boy, 6, killed in fall from Ferris wheel (4/26/08)
  • Carnival worker injured in fall from Roll-O-Plane (4/27/08)

    MAY

  • Yo-Yo collapses; 23 injured (5/16/08)
  • Cedar Point roller coaster accident injures 9 (5/16/08)
  • Boy, 16, drowns in pool at water park (5/28/08)
  • Girl, 7, drowns in pool at water park (5/30/08)
  • Another inflatable slide collapses (5/30/08)
  • Officials: poor maintenance, operator error to blame for 'Superman' injury (5/30/08)

    JUNE

  • Girl drowns at water park (6/15/08)
  • Another inflatable slide collapses; 7 injured (6/16/08)
  • Teen dies from water park injury (6/16/08)
  • Teen who entered restricted area underneath roller coaster killed (6/28/08)

    JULY

  • Man injured in fall from Swinger (7/1/08)
  • Roller coaster car derails, crashes to pavement; 4 injured (7/4/08)
  • Another inflatable slide accident; 4 children injured (7/9/08)
  • 8-year-old ejected from ride, in coma (7/13/08)
  • Park worker in critical condition after roller coaster accident (7/13/08)
  • Rainbow collapses; at least 20 injured (7/15/08)
  • Boy, 4, struck by kiddie ride (7/17/08)
  • Rainbow rides ordered shut down (7/21/08)
  • Another inflatable ride injury (7/26/08)
  • Two women rescued from bungee ride after mishap (7/26/08)

    AUGUST

  • Inflatable ride flips over in wind, hits steel pole; 5 children injured (8/2/08)
  • Two injured in ride mishap (8/4/08)
  • Kiddie ride malfunction injures girl, 5 (8/6/08)
  • Sizzler ride collapses at Wisconsin fair (8/15/08)
  • Fair ride stalls; dozens evacuated (8/24/08)
  • Man in restricted area struck by roller coaster (8/30/08)

    SEPTEMBER

  • Another inflatable ride death (9/30/09)

    OCTOBER

  • Another Titanic inflatable topples over; children injured (10/1/08)
  • Ride mishap leaves mother, girl dangling from ride (10/4/08)
  • CPSC, Chance announce recall to inspect and repair YO-YO amusement rides (10/7/08)
  • Ride worker killed in accident at South Carolina fair (10/19/08)

    NOVEMBER

  • Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom lawsuit settled (11/21/08)


  • Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom lawsuit settled

    (Friday, November 21, 2008) - Six Flags has reached a settlement with the family of 15-year-old Kaitlyn Lasitter, whose legs were severed on the 'Superman Tower of Power' freefall ride at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom theme park in 2007. The girl's parents alleged that the park was negligent in inspecting, testing, maintaining and operating the ride. Investigators concluded that it was impossible to pinpoint why a cable snapped, but that Lasitter's injuries would have been limited to "cuts and scrapes" if the ride operator had immediately hit the ride's emergency stop button. They also said that the accident might have been avoided altgether had park workers followed the ride manual's instructions for detecting deterioration in the cable. Six Flags denied all responsibility for the accident.

    A settlement was also reached in a claim filed by Six Flags against the ride's manufacturer, Intamin, Ltd.

    Operator struck by fair ride
    WLTX News 19, Columbia

    Ride worker killed in accident at South Carolina fair

    (Sunday, October 19, 2008) - At the South Carolina State Fair in Columbia, South Carolina, a 51-year-old maintenance worker was killed in a freak accident involving a carnival ride called the Inverter. The man was crushed by a 10,000-pound counter-weight as it swung through a danger zone at the base of the ride. The victim was attempting to retrieve a tape measure that was left in the area, which was not visible to the public.

    The death has been ruled accidental.

    The man was an employee of North American Midway Entertainment.

    CPSC, Chance announce recall to inspect and repair YO-YO amusement rides

    (Tuesday, October 7, 2008) - In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Chance Rides Manufacturing Inc. (CRM), of Wichita, Kansas is voluntarily recalling to inspect and repair about 85 YO-YO amusement rides across the country. CPSC has received reports of two incidents involving the YO-YO ride resulting in injuries to children and adults, including scraped knees and back strains. On May 16, 2008, 23 riders of a YO-YO ride in Angels Camp, Calif. fell to the ground when the sweep arms suspending the circular swinging chairs they were riding in broke free from the ride’s center cylinder rod. The inspection program will focus on preventing future failures.

    CRM is offering ride owners and state safety officials inspection/repair kits and new inspection and maintenance guidelines. CPSC is working with state regulators and insurance providers to ensure that these safety inspections and modifications are conducted. While CPSC has jurisdiction over mobile amusement rides and conducts incident investigations, states and local communities are responsible for inspections and oversight of rides such as the YO-YO.

    Ride mishap leaves mother, girl dangling from ride

    (Saturday, October 4, 2008) - At a carnival in Port Orange, Florida, a mother and her 2-year-old daughter were left dangling from an amusement ride that started without warning as children were exiting the ride. The woman was lifted about 20 feet into the air, holding her daughter in one arm and hanging on to the Crazy Bus ride with her other arm. The woman eventually let her daughter fall into the arms of bystanders who easily caught her. Firefighters used a ladder to lower the woman to safety.

    Neither the woman nor her daughter was seriously injured.

    The incident is under investigation.

    Another Titanic inflatable topples over; children injured

    (October 1, 2008) - A Titanic inflatable slide tipped over at a child's birthday party in Wisconsin. Children who were on the slide fell into the street, and several were rushed to the emergency room.

    The attraction was rented from Rock n' Roll To Go Plus! Inc. of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. A company employee was also injured.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES

    Another inflatable ride death

    (Sunday, September 30, 2008) - At the Jump Zone Party Palace in Festus, Missouri, a 28-year-old woman was killed while attempting somersaults on an inflatable slide.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES

    Man in restricted area struck by roller coaster

    (Saturday, August 30, 2008) - A 20-year-old man was hospitalized in critical condition after he entered a restricted area underneath a roller coaster and was struck by the ride. The accident happened at Six Flags Magic Mountain theme park in Valencia, California. Witnesses said that the man lost his hat while he was riding the Ninja roller coaster, then climbed over two security fences to retrieve it.

    Fair ride stalls; dozens evacuated

    (August 24, 2008) - At the Schueberfouer fair in Luxembourg, an amusement ride called "XTreme" broke down, leaving 29 riders suspended in the air for up two hours. All of the riders were evacuated safely; no one was injured.

    Watch evacuation:

    Sizzler ride collapses at Wisconsin fair

    (August 15, 2008) - At the Price County Fair in Phillips, Wisconsin, a sweep rod fell off a Sizzler ride, causing the ride to partially collapse. Four passenger cars fell to the ground and hit a metal platform. Several people were injured.

    The ride was operated by Spectrum Entertainment. Fair officials said that the accident was the third in four years where a ride malfunctioned, often injuring patrons, and that Spectrum would not return to the fairgrounds.

    Kiddie ride malfunction injures girl, 5

    (Saturday, August 6, 2008) - At the Wisconsin State Fair, a kiddie ride malfunctioned, injuring a 5-year-old girl. The accident happened when the girl's car derailed and crashed into a fence, leaving her with a bruised knee and injuries to her neck, back and elbow. The girl was treated at a local hospital, but her injuries were not serious.

    The ride, called Badlands 4x4, is operated by Murphy Brothers Exposition.

    Door falls off Cyclone ride
    KPIX News CBS 5, San Francisco

    Two injured in ride mishap

    (Monday, August 4, 2008) - At the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk in Santa Cruz, California, two people suffered minor injuries when part of a whirling amusement ride called the Cyclone struck them. Witnesses said that the ramp which leads passengers on to the platform came loose. A 9-year-old boy who was on the ride suffered a leg injury, and a woman who was running away from the ride was struck by debris; neither of the two was seriously injured.

    The accident also caused minor damage to the ride itself.

    The Department of Occupational Safety and Health is investigating.

    Inflatable ride flips over in wind, hits steel pole; 5 children injured

    (Saturday, August 2, 2008) - In Wellington, Colorado, five children were injured when an inflatable ride flipped over in a wind gust and hit a steel pole. One of the victims was airlifted to a hospital and two others were rushed by ambulance. At least two of of the children suffered serious injuries.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES

    Two women rescued from bungee ride after mishap

    (Saturday, July 26, 2008) - In Galveston, Texas, two riders were rescued from a vertical reverse-bungee vertical catapult ride called Bungee Fun after a problem with a bungee cord. The riders were left stranded in the vehicle 35 feet in the air sideways at a 45-degree angle for more than an hour. They were not injured.

    "Bungee Fun is completely safe for children and adults," claims the ride's website.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES

    Another inflatable ride injury

    (Saturday, July 26, 2008) - A man suffered a minor injury on an inflatable slide at a festival at Burnham-on-Sea in Somerset, England.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES

    Rainbow amusement ride collapses
    Photo: Reuters

    Rainbow collapses; at least 20 injured

    (Tuesday, July 15, 2008) - At Liseberg theme park in Göteborg, Sweden, between 20 and 30 people were injured when a ride called the Rainbow collapsed. Thirty-six people were on board the ride, which consists of a rotating vertical arm with a platform connected to one end. Some riders were thrown from the platform, but none suffered any life-threatening injuries. Three people were hospitalized with injuries including rib and pelvis fractures.

    Rainbow rides ordered shut down

    (July 21, 2008) - The Rainbow amusement ride that collapsed at Liseberg theme park last Tuesday was dismantled over the weekend by investigators who discovered a faulty drive shaft during their inspection. Investigators now believe that the accident was caused by the failure of one of the axles that is designed to hold the passenger carriage horizontal. The drive shaft had been replaced by Huss Maschinenfabrik, the ride's manufacturer, in 2003. The drive shaft is fully enclosed, and therefore is excluded from the park's regular maintenance procedures. It can only be inspected by Huss. According to the ride specifications, the drive shaft has an operational life of 5,000 running hours. The axle that failed had run for only about 3,500 hours. In light of the investigation, Huss has ordered the temporary closure of its 40 Rainbow amusement rides throughout the world.

    Liseberg Gondola ride strands riders 150 feet for nearly three hours
    - RIA Novosti, July 18, 2008

    Boy, 4, struck by kiddie ride

    (Thursday, July 17, 2008) - A 4-year-old boy was injured on kiddie ride at the Three Rivers Festival in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Witnesses said it appeared the boy was scared and tried to get off the ride while it was still in motion. He fell, and was run over 2 or 3 times by other cars. The ride, commonly known as a Hampton kiddie ride, consists of miniature cars that rotate in a circle at slow speed. The ride is owned by J&J Amusements.

    Park worker in critical condition after roller coaster accident

    (Sunday, July 13, 2008) - A 21-year-old man suffered a critical head injury when he was struck by a roller coaster at Casino Pier in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. Park officials said that he was attempting to retrive a child's hat that landed in a restricted area underneath the Star Jet roller coaster, and that he may have been walking along the side of the track when a car struck him. The man was airlifted to a hospital where he was listed in critical condition.

    UPDATE: On July 16, it was announced that the man died from his injuries.

    8-year-old ejected from ride, in coma

    (Sunday, July 13, 2008) - A 8-year-old boy suffered critical injuries when he was thrown from the Teacups ride at Sommerland amusement park in Fårup, Denmark. Investigators reported that the rubber safety stop, which prevents the doors of the car from opening, may have malfunctioned.

    UPDATE: The ride reopened two days later, after the park installed metal plates to each car that are designed to keep the doors of the Teacups from opening while the ride is in motion.

    Another inflatable slide accident; 4 children injured

    (Wednesday, July 9, 2008) - In Charleston, South Carolina, four children who were on an inflatable slide suffered minor injuries when the slide tipped to one side, causing them to fall out onto the ground. Two were taken to a local hospital. No one was seriously injured.

    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES

    Roller coaster car derails
    Photo: Ekstra Bladet

    Roller coaster car derails, crashes to pavement; 4 injured

    (Friday, July 4, 2008) - At Tivoli Friheden in Aarhus, Denmark, four people were injured in an accident on the Cobra, an inverted roller coaster. A park official reported that the first car detached from the train and fell to the pavement underneath the ride. The victims were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

    The Cobra is a new ride that opened in June. It reaches a maximum height of 70 feet and a top speed of 40 miles per hour.

    The ride has been shut down while investigators determine what caused the accident. Early reports indicate that a broken axle may be to blame.

    Park Statement:

    Cobra operation indefinitely suspended due to accident

    Last night, Friday, shortly before the close of business at 11:00pm, there was a serious accident involving the park's new roller coaster, Cobra. The front car of the train, in which two passengers were sitting, fell from the other cars down to the pavement. In total, four people were injured in the accident. The passengers have injuries and fractures and information from authorities indicates that no one will have any lasting physical injuries.

    The cause of the accident has not yet been determined. Technological Institute, in cooperation with police and Tivoli Frehedens technicians, are working to find the cause for this deeply unfortunate incident. It is clear however, that there was a mechanical problem and not a human error. Cobra is now closed and it is unclear what to do with the ride in the future.

    Tivoli Frehedens is open as usual to the public.

    Man injured in fall from Swinger

    (Tuesday, July 1, 2008) - A man was seriously injured when he fell from a Swinger ride at a carnival. The ride is operated by McNair Amusements of Loganville. It passed an inspection when the carnival opened on Monday.
    Police: Roller coaster accident due to teens being impatient
    - Digital Journal, July 2, 2008

    Teen who entered restricted area underneath roller coaster killed

    (Saturday, June 28, 2008) - At Six Flags Over Georgia theme park in Atlanta, Georgia, a 17-year-old boy was killed when a roller coaster train struck him. The victim climbed over two 6-foot-tall fences and entered a restricted area underneath the Batman roller coaster. The area was marked by signs located around the perimeter of the ride that read: "Danger Zone," "Do Not Enter," and "Authorized Personnel Only." He was struck by the ride's train, which was traveling near its top speed of 50mph, and decapitated.

    Six Flags Over Georgia Statement:
    A 17-year-old park visitor scaled two six-foot fences that secured the Batman roller coaster and was struck and killed by the coaster at approximately 2 p.m. today. We do not know why this person was intent on gaining access to this restricted area, as multiple signs clearly state: Danger Zone / Do Not Enter / Authorized Personnel Only. Some witnesses have stated that the individual was trying to retrieve something he had lost. Others reported that he was trying to touch the ride. This is merely speculation at this point, and we are working with park visitors and local police to learn more. No guests on the ride were injured. The visitor’s family was at the park with him, and Six Flags representatives are currently with the family. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.

    CLOSE CALL ON DROP TOWER

    ABOVE: A broken cable dangles below the feet of riders on the Hurakan Condor freefall drop tower at Port Aventura theme park in Spain. The ride's emergency stop system was engaged, possibly preventing a repeat of an accident last year in which a girl's feet were severed by a broken cable on a similar drop tower ride at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom.

    RIGHT: Park maintenance workers spent nearly an hour preparing the car and its path for a safe drop. No one was injured. The ride was shut down, but the rest of the cars were running with passengers just hours later.

    Teen dies from water park injury

    (Monday, June 16, 2008) - A 19-year-old girl died after complaining that she suffered a head injury on a water slide at Sun Splash water park in Mesa, Arizona. She approached the park's first aid personnel and told them that she hit her head. She complained of headache, nausea, and memory loss. She was rushed to a local hospital where she told at least one nurse that she hit her head on one of the slides. She received emergency treatment for a blood clot in her brain, but she died. The Maricopa Medical Examiner ruled the death as "accidental blunt force trauma to the head."

    SHOCK PR: In response to the girl's death, Sun Splash water park issued a statement in which it actually suggested that the girl may have never ridden a slide: "It is unknown which, if any, attractions she had ridden that day.”


    Another inflatable slide collapses; 7 injured

    (Monday, June 16, 2008) - In Nicosia, Cyprus, seven children were injured when an inflatable slide collapsed Four of the children were hospitalized with minor injuries, including a broken arm and a neck injury. Witnesses said that one end of the slide lost air pressure, and the other end of the slide appeared to be overloaded.
    CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORIES


    Girl drowns at water park

    (Sunday, June 15, 2008) - A 4-year-old girl drowned at the indoor Caribbean water park in East Lampeter Township, Pennsylvania. Police are investigating.


    Officials: poor maintenance, operator error to blame for 'Superman' injury

    (Friday, May 30, 2008) - The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) has released its final report detailing the findings of its investigation into the June 2007 accident in which a teenager lost both of her feet on the 'Superman: Tower of Power' ride at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom theme park after a cable snapped. Based on their conclusion, state officials formally cited and fined the park.

    302 KAR 16:020(5) requires that 'All amusement rides and amusement attractions shall be maintained in good electrical and mechanical condition and shall be under the supervision of an operator at all times during the operation of the amusement ride or amusement attraction.' The KDA has always required amusement ride manuals provided by the manufacturer to be followed to satisfy this requirement. Based upon scientific evidence and expert opinion, the cause of the cable failure has been determined to be fatigue, a progressive failure of the mechanism. Also based upon expert opinion, it was determined that the extent of the fatigue would have made it possible for SFKK personnel to detect the deteriorating condition of the cable using the procedures outlined in the more recent ride manual. Therefore, a violation of 302 KAR 16:020(5) occurred due to the cable not being maintained in good mechanical condition.

    Broken cable of Superman drop tower ride
    Kaitlyn Lasitter's shoelace remains intertwined with the broken, rusty cable.

    The park was fined $1,000.

    When investigators inspected the cable after the accident, they noted that it had "a red rust color appearance and broken wires were present."

    The metallurgical testing conducted on the wire ropes led investigators to determine that the cause of the cable failure was fatigue, a progressive failure of the mechanism.

    "The cable on the ride was in a condition that caused the cable to fail under its normal load in operation."

    The report also states that park maintenance workers should have detected the poor condition of the cable prior to the accident.

    Maintenance records provided by SFKK indicate the cable units and switches were last checked on June 14, 2007, and 'no further action was needed.' However, based on expert opinion, the deteriorating condition of the cable would have been detected using the procedures outlined in the newer ride manual.

    The expert opinion came from Mr. Semih Genculu, the vice president of Applied Technical Services Inc.

    Mr. Genculu stated: 'The metallurgical testing conducted on the wire ropes indicates that the failure was caused by fatigue. This is a progressive failure mechanism where breaks of individual wires (flat fractures) occur over repeated load cycles resulting in reduction of the load carrying capacity of the rope. This condition ultimately leads to complete separation via overload of the remaining intact wires (cup and cone fractures) since they can no longer support the load.”

    When asked if it would have been possible to detect the deteriorating condition of the cable prior to the incident. Mr. Genculu answered this question with the following paragraph in his letter: 'The extent of progressive (fatigue) cracking would have made it possible for the park personnel to detect the deteriorating condition of the rope had they been following the inspection instructions given in the maintenance manual.'

    Investigators also concluded that any injuries that may have resulted from the broken cable would have been minor, had the ride operators activated the ride's emergency stop system according to procedures they learned in training.

    Numerous witnesses, riders on the ride at the time of the incident, and the main ride operator all have stated the ride produced a loud noise within a few seconds of starting, and within 40 to 45 feet of the starting ground position. The witnesses described the cable falling out from the top of the ride as the ride ascended. The main operator, witnesses, and the ride patrons in section III have all stated the ride patrons in section III were yelling to stop the ride. The ride operator gave a statement to the KDA indicating that training to operate the ride mandated hitting the emergency stop button in the event of either a loud noise or unusual screaming. Inspectors from the KDA timed the travel of the passenger car starting at 45 feet from the ground (the approximate position of the loud noise) and ending during the approximately two second pause at the top of the tower before the freefall (where depressing the emergency stop function would not have stopped the ride) as being at least 10 seconds.

    In the KDA’s opinion, the injuries to the ride patrons probably would have been limited to cuts and scrapes had the emergency stop button been pressed, in accordance with training, during the 10 second window of time between the loud noise followed by the cable falling and the freefall of the ride.

    The considered opinion of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture is the cable condition and ride operator response were the largest factors contributing to the injuries of the ride patron.

    There were two operators on duty at the ride when the accident happened -- both of whom were under the age of 18. The main operator stated that she activated the emergency stop system before the cars were released from the top of the tower, however the ride's computer system showed that the cars began their freefall before the emergency stop button was hit.

    The KDA report included this synopsis of a statement that it was given by the main ride operator:

  • The group of three girls rode the ride once without incident. When that ride cycle had ended, the girls got to ride again because there was no line. I remember the same three seats were used the second trip. The seats were checked and the all clear was given. The ride went up.
  • After about two seconds I heard a noise like a rollercoaster chain clack. The ride was about eight feet off the ground. When I looked up the cord came out; the cord was flying about. The noise and the cable coming out happened at the same time.
  • I called #3333; the park phone number for emergencies. The person answering the phone asked what was going on.
  • I reached my head out and around the operator station while I was explaining the situation to the lady on the phone. I told the lady on the phone that the guests were screaming. I was not sure what the people on the ride were screaming due to the volume of noise in the park.
  • The lady on the phone said it was normal for riders to scream. I said the screaming was totally different this time because all the riders were screaming.
  • I can’t remember what the lady on the telephone was saying. I could see the top of the ride. The other ride operator, at the other panel, told me to hit Estop.
  • I hit Estop, but the ride came down normally.
  • I noticed a shoe had fallen on the blue covering. I saw the injured girl. I noticed she was blinking. The injured girl had shifted down in her seat, and had a leg up in the air. At first I thought the injured girl was dead, because she was so far down in the seat. I walked over to make sure she wasn’t dead.
  • I was still on the phone. I was screaming. The lady on the phone asked questions and tried to get me to calm down.
  • Several people came running through the gate and through the line, and began yelling at me. When I hit the Estop that caused the harness system to remain closed. People were yelling at me to let them out, but I needed a technician to do that.
  • The other ride operator was screaming, and she left the ride.
  • Some woman came up and called the police. The lady on the telephone with me hung up the phone to call for first aid. I then hung up the phone.
  • A man named Lou came and got me. Lou took me to Katie; and Rachel took me to the rides office about five to ten minutes after the accident. People talked to me and I gave a statement. The park employees had to find the other ride operator.

    Six Flags denies any responsibility for the accident.

  • To view the entire KDA report, click here to visit TortsProf Blog.

    RELATED STORIES:
  • Teenager describes day girl's feet cut off on Six Flags ride
    - Courier-Journal, 5/21/08
  • Maintenance workers faulted in Kentucky Kingdom drop tower accident (4/14/08)
  • Documents give injured girl's first public account of accident
    - Associated Press, 1/30/08
  • Ride operator tells of Kentucky Kingdom drop tower accident
    - The Courier-Journal, 1/12/08


    Another inflatable slide collapses

    (Friday, May 30, 2008) - A 15-foot-tall inflatable slide collapsed at a festival in Priory Park, Southend (England). One child was inured. Witnesses said that several of the ride's anchors came flying out of the ground. Officials said that the accident may have happened because the ground was soft due to recent rainfall.


    Girl, 7, drowns in pool at water park

    (Friday, May 30, 2008) - At Splash Zone water park in Enid, Oklahoma, a 7-year-old girl was found unconscious and pulled from 4 feet of water by a patron, who carried her from the pool and alerted the lifeguard. Attempts to save the girl's life were unsuccessful, and she died hours later at a Tulsa hospital.

    The man who pulled the girl from the pool later told police that he had to yell several times to get a lifeguard’s attention before the lifeguard responded. He also said that the lifeguard was watching a water basketball game on the opposite side of the pool.

    Witnesses said that the girl could not swim. A lifeguard told police that the girl was told to leave the smaller 'kiddie pool' and was directed to the larger pool because of a wristband policy. According to the lifeguard, the girl did not tell anyone that she could not swim.

    The victim was not wearing a floatation device.

    Police are investigating.

    UPDATE: After his inspection of the pool, a public health specialist reported: “As far as pool safety, there were a few issues. None were determining factors in the drowning.”


    Teen drowns at water park
    WGCL CBS 46, Atlanta

    Boy, 16, drowns in pool at water park

    (Wednesday, May 28, 2008) - A 16-year-old boy died in a drowning accident at Sun Valley Beach water park in Powder Springs, Georgia.

    Fifteen lifeguards were on duty at the time the boy was discovered at the bottom of the pool -- none of whom reported noticing any signs of distress.

    Police are investigating.


    Cedar Point roller coaster accident injures 9

    (Friday, May 16, 2008) - At Cedar Point theme park in Sandusky, Ohio, two roller coaster cars collided on the Wildcat roller coaster. Nine people were treated at the park's first aid station for bruises and sprains; one received treatment at a local medical center.

    The accident happened when one car failed to roll past the initial incline and rolled backward into another car.

    The ride has been shut down.


    Mechanical failure:
    Yo-Yo collapses; 23 injured

    Swing ride collapses at carnival
  • News clip: KCRA News, Sacramento
  • Swing ride collapses at carnival
  • KOVR CBS 13 News, Sacramento
  • yo yo ride collapses
  • Associated Press news clip
  • KTXL Fox 40 Sacramento news clip
  • California May 16, 2008 Yo-Yo Incident

    Whereas investigation into this incident is still taking place, there is evidence that the ride involved in this incident did not meet manufacturer specifications. Chance again stresses the need for owners of Yo-Yo amusement ride to follow all published manufacturer’s specifications found in the ride manual, service bulletins, and the Chance Field Inspection Guide. Particular care must be taken in following all requirements as set forth in Chance service bulletin numbers B376R1077-0 and B376CRM146-A.
    The Yo-Yo amusement ride is a safe design and can be operated safely as long as it is maintained per the manufacturer’s specifications.

    - Chance Rides Manufacturing

    (Friday, May 16, 2008) - At the Calaveras County Fairgrounds in Angels Camp, California, 23 people were injured when a circular chain-suspended swing ride called the Yo-Yo collapsed. Three people were airlifted to local hospitals and were reported to be in serious condition. The twenty others who on the ride at the time of the collapse are thought to have suffered minor injuries. At least fourteen of the them were taken to regional hospitals for treatment.

    Witnesses said that the ride collapsed as the swings were at their maximum height of approximately 20 feet. When the ride gave way, all of the swings came crashing down toward the middle of the ride. Before the seats struck the ground, some of them struck parts of the ride or other swings.

    "It dropped down and dragged the kids around in circles," said one witness to KTXL-TV in Sacramento.

    Another witness told the Union Democrat, "We just saw people bouncing off the ground and hitting the ride.

    "It happened three times. It bounced, bounced and bounced, then people started hitting the ground."

    The ride is operated by Midway of Fun, based in Oroville, California.

    The Calaveras County Sheriff's Office and the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health are investigating. All of the fair rides have been shut down.

    Also on Friday, two carnival workers were arrested from the same fairgrounds -- one for failure to register as a sex offender; the other for a warrant for assault with a deadly weapon and for failure to register as a sex offender. One suspect ran from police, who chased him into an adjacent lot, pepper sprayed him, and took him into custody.

    UPDATE: An initial inspection of the ride by state investigators indicates that the accident was caused by mechanical failure. All those who were hospitalized have been released.

    RELATED STORIES:

  • Illinois halts 'Yo-Yo' rides after California fair collapse - Chicago Tribune, 5/23/08
  • Yo-Yo rides in Mass. yanked off line for inspections - Boston Herald, 5/21/08
  • Carnival ride operator has prior accidents - KTXL Sacramento, 5/19/08


    Worker falls from Roll-O-Plane carnival ride

    Click here to watch news segment from WGCL CBS46 News, Atlanta

    Carnival worker injured in fall from Roll-O-Plane

    (Sunday, April 27, 2008) - A carnival worker was hospitalized in critical condition after he fell 45 feet from the top of a Roll-O-Plane ride at a carnival in Hamblee, Georgia. Witnesses said that the worker had loaded two passengers into one of the ride's cars and noticed that the door of the car was not properly closed. As he attempted to lock the door of the car, the ride started. The worker held on to the door and was hauled into the air, then lost his grip and fell from the top of the ride. He landed on a steel support beam at the base of the ride.

    Local firemen were called in to rescue the two passengers, who were left stranded at the top of the ride for about 20 minutes, but were not injured.

    The ride is owned and operated by Gold Medal Rides.


    Boy, 6, killed in fall from Ferris wheel

    (April 26, 2008) - In Berdsk, Novosibirsk (Siberia), a 6-year-old boy fell about 50 feet to his death from a Ferris wheel after he had climbed over the fence of a closed amusement park and boarded the ride, which had been somehow activated. The boy was left dangling from one of the cars for nearly 90 seconds after he apparently tried to exit the car. As the ride continued to move, the boy fell from a point near the top of the wheel. He collided with the ride's spokes several times until his body came to rest on the roof of a car at the bottom of the wheel, about 10 feet above the loading platform.

    Two other girls, aged 10 and 11, had also boarded the ride, but were uninjured.

    Police are trying to determine why there were no security guards inside the park, who started the ride, and why the controls were left unlocked.

    Most of the witnesses were children, but at least two adults -- one of whom recorded the incident with a cell phone -- were present. The adults can be heard laughing and joking throughout the cell phone video, which was later posted to an internet website. Police are trying to learn their identity.

    The video clip features a news segment from Russia Today.


    SHOCK PR: "We stand by our maintenance procedures ..."

    Maintenance workers faulted in Kentucky Kingdom drop tower accident

    "For safety, best performance and long life of the equipment, a reliable preventative maintenance program must be carried out according to the maintenance guidelines. For damages caused by failure to follow these instructions or by changes in the systems … no claims can be made to the manufacturer." - Specifications of ride manufacturer Intamin AG
    (Monday, April 14, 2008) - Ride technicians at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom theme park never performed a hands-on inspection of any of the 10 cables on the Superman Tower of Power thrill ride that severed a girl's legs last summer, according to a sworn statement given by the park's ride maintenance manager, John Schmidt. He also stated that technicians did not lubricate the cables monthly, as recommended by the ride's manufacturer, Intamin AG of Switzerland. The ride's cables were tested periodically with a micrometer, he said.

    The ride manual indicates that maintenance technicians should conduct a "rag test" to detect for snags or fractures in the cables at least every six months. Workers were to perform the test by wrapping a cotton rag around each cable while the ride is set to maintenance mode. The manual states that "snagging of the rag on the cable indicates broken wires or some other significant flaw is present."

    Schmidt said that workers performed visual inspections of each cable, but that "It was never brought to my attention to check those cables with a rag for snags."

    When asked whether the ride's cables had been lubricated, Schmidt answered, "Not by a person, no." He then explained that some of the lubrication that was applied to the car rails would "end up on the cables," and that high winds would sometimes blow the cables into the rails, causing them to pick up grease. Schmidt believed that there was excessive grease on the cables, and that this would cause cables to slip on the drum as the ride was in motion. To prevent slippage, he said that corn starch was applied to the cables to dry them. Intamin's specifications did not indicate that corn starch be used at any time.

    Earlier this year, a 16-year-old ride operator who was on duty at the Superman tower said that she "heard something snap" as the car was lifted to the top of the tower, then moved into a position where she could see the problems with the cables. She then called to the other operator to press the emergency stop button. "… I was like, 'Press the stop button,' then by the time we did that, it was too late. It was already down."

    Six Flags denies responsibility for the accident. The parents of the girl who was injured, Kaitlyn Lasitter, are suing Six Flags for negligence. They are not suing Intamin or the manufacturer of the cable that snapped.

    The exact cause of the failure has not yet been determined, however one test by a metallurgical laboratory revealed that, while there was grease around the ends of the cable, "the center surrounding the fracture exhibited rust and cracks without substantial grease.

    "The cracks were prominent near the cable fracture site."

    The Kentucky Department of Agriculture continues its investigation.

    Safety through communication?
    Six Flags wanted deposition to be kept secret


    OSHA: boy who drowned at Great America floated for 39 seconds

    (Saturday, April 12, 2008) - The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has concluded its investigation into the July 12 drowning of a 4-year-old boy at Great America theme park in Santa Clara, California. In their 47-page report, investigators said that the victim had been floating in the water for 39 seconds before lifeguards responded.

    "In the security recording, at the time of the accident, the pool does not appear to be particularly crowded. Patrons appear to move in and out of the pool, and randomly around the pool, in a constant state of flux, causing the density of patrons in any one zone to increase and decrease randomly, particularly once the waves operate, as would be expected with any wave pool. Because of this dynamic, the density of patrons can suddenly increase or decrease in any one zone at any time. At the time of the accident, there were six lifeguards on duty. After interviewing all of the lifeguards involved, some of the guards stated that it was crowded in the pool, and others stated that it was not very crowded.

    "In the digital recording, the child is viewed floating for approximately 39 seconds prior to the lifeguard in zone #4 reacting to the event."

    OSHA officials said that the pool's safety specifications require Vigilance Awareness Training (VAT). VAT testing is failed when lifeguards fail to respond after 30 seconds. Also, investigators discovered that four of the six lifeguards who were on duty had been at the same position for more than an hour and a half, and one of the four had been at the same position for two hours. Pool specifications require that lifeguards spend a maximum of one hour at a particular position.

    Great America released a statement in response to the report, using the opportunity to promote the opening day of its wave pool and water park for the 2008 season:

    "California's Great America would like to continue to express our deepest sympathy to the family. All of us at California's Great America are deeply saddened by this tragedy. Safety is our No. 1 priority here at California's Great America and the most important thing we do each and every day. The park cooperated fully throughout the state inspection, met all requirements and received approval to reopen the "Great Barrier Reef" wave pool last August. The wave pool will open for the 2008 season on May 24 with the rest of the Boomerang Bay water park."

    Great America is owned and operated by Cedar Fair.

    Click here to download the complete 47-page report.


    Worker crushed by swinger-type ride
    Aichi Prefectural Government

    Worker killed while inspecting ride

    (Monday, March 24, 2008) - At Family Ai Land theme park in Nagakutem, Aichi, a 46-year-old park worker died while conducting a routine inspection of a whirling swing-type ride called "Family Swinger."

    According to police, the man was inside the ride's cylindrical support column when part of the ceiling structure collapsed on top of him.



    VIDEO LINK:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSXTrycC2oQ

    Ride collapses in South Africa

    (Friday, March 21, 2008) - Seven people escaped serious injury when an amusement ride called "Crazy Wave" collapsed at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg, South Africa. The riders were taken to a hospital where they were treated for neck and back pain.

    The ride passed an inspection last week.

    Forensic engineers are investigating.


    Man injured in jump from carnival ride

    (Friday, March 21, 2008) - At a carnival in Fayetteville, North Carolina, a 23-year-old man was injured when he jumped from a whirling ride called Scat while it was in motion. Police say that the man was intoxicated. Witnesses say that he removed his safety belt and climbed to the top of the ride, then jumped off. He landed head first into the metal frame of an adjacent bumper car ride. The man was airlifted to a hospital where he was treated for severe head injuries.


    State says deadly carnival ride was illegal
    - Victoria Advocate, 1/28/08

    Carnival worker, 15, killed as workers dismantle ride

    (Sunday, January 27, 2008) - In Victoria, Texas, a 15-year-old girl was killed when part of an amusement ride struck her in the head as workers were disassembling the ride. The girl worked as a ticket taker for Blue Ribbon Entertainment of Houston, Texas. Workers say that a piece of the ride, called the Hammer Slammer, fell and hit the girl. The accident happened on the girl's first day of work.

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has opened an investigation.


    Siam Park water slide failure
    Bangkok Post

    Water slide fails at Siam Park; 28 children injured

    (Saturday, January 12, 2008) - At Siam Park in Bangkok, Thailand, 28 children were injured when a section of a water slide gave way, according to police reports. Four children were hospitalized in critical condition.

    The slide, called "Super Spiral," is three stories high. Park officials said that the collapse occured at a section near the end of the slide that was about 6-8 feet high. Some of the children fell through the slide when it collapsed.

    Victims suffered head injuries, broken limbs, and bruises.

    Authorities have ordered the ride shut down and an investigation is underway. Some witnesses said that children were shaking the slide.

    The park accepted responsibility and promised to cover the victims' medical expenses.

    Three months ago, an accident on a log flume ride at Siam Park left one woman dead and five others injured.

    UPDATE: Overwhelmed with grief over the park's recent accidents, Siam Park president Chaiwat Leungamornphan has announced that he is selling the park.

    Return to RideAccidents.com