Saturday 20 December 2014

Ten of the worst amusement park accidents

Published 11/08/2014 | 13:56

24 people were stranded
24 people were stranded

SIX flags amusement part in the US has hit the headlines after 24 customers got tapped on the top of one of its roller coaster for five hours yesterday.

However with sore backs and mild dehydration the worst complaints, it pales in comparison to some other amusement park accident.

 

Action Park – New Jersey, USA

The park, which has become infamous in the US state, was open for 18 years from 1978 to 1996.

It was forced to close after almost two decades in business due to declining customers after accidents.

Six people died at the park over its lifetime, from drowning to heart attacks to electrocution.

The park boasted one of the first artificial wave pools in the world – however it was to prove fatal for three customers.

Despite 12 lifeguards being on duty, on a busy weekend there could be almost 30 rescues in the pool. 

 

Batman: The Ride – Six Flags, Georgia, USA

The ride, which takes thrill seekers through the streets of Gotham City, has had two deaths associated with it.

In the summer of 2008 a 17-year-old teen was killed at the ride.

He lost his hat while on the ride and climbed over the railings in an effort to retrieve it after.

Despite two warning signs against accessing the area, he continued forwards – and wandered into the path of the rollercoaster.

Thundering along at 80km/h, it instantly decapitated him.

Six years earlier a grounds man was killed while in the restricted area after being hit by the leg of a customer on the ride.

 

The Haunted House – Six Flags Great Adventure, New Jersey, USA

The worst accident in the history of theme parks doesn’t involve a high speed rollercoaster – but a fire.

In May of 1984 a ‘haunted’ castle at the theme park caught fire.

The wind meant the flames rapidly spread, melting the metal walls which help up the structure.

Eight people perished in the fire, which is believed to have been started deliberately.

The eight victims were so badly burnt that they had to be identified by dental records.

 

Eco-Adventure Journey – Shenzen, China

The rollercoaster claimed it would simulate the experience of being on a rocket launched in to space – and unfortunately the simulation became all too real for some unlucky customers.

In 2010 during the middle of the simulation one of the cars got loose of the main structure and lost power.

It slammed around the inner chamber of the ride before plunging almost 40 feet to the ground.

44 people were in the damaged car – six of them were killed, ten critically injured and more than a dozen were taken to hospital unconscious.

 

King’s Island – Ohio, USA

On June 9th 1991, three people were killed in two separate accidents at the park – and to this day rumours persist that the grounds are haunted.

The strange events of the day began when a patron fell into a pond.

His friend and a park employee jumped in to save him – however all three were electrocuted.

The two rescuers were killed, however the original victim survived.

Just one hour later, while emergency services were still on the scene of the first, a second accident occurred.

A 32-year-old woman fell from a ride called ‘Flight Commander’, and died on impact with the ground.

 

Superman Tower of Power – Six Flags, Kentucky, USA

The Superman ride is familiar to amusement park fans the world over, as variants of it are seen in most carnivals.

Customers are slowly lifted up to the height of a 17-story building, before plummeting rapidly towards the ground – all carefully controlled.

However in 2007 on this particular ride, a cable snapped.

It wrapped around a 13-year-old girl’s neck and legs in the process.

She managed to remove the cable from her neck, however before she could get it free of her legs the ride began its rapid descent.

The cable sliced through both of her legs, severing both her feet from her body.

She was rushed to hospital, where surgeons managed to re-attach her right foot.

 

Battersea Park Fun Fair – London, UK

In 1972 Britain saw its worst amusement park tragedy.

A wooden rollercoaster at the park was one of its most iconic attractions – however older wooden rollercoasters were notorious for wearing out.

On a summer day in 1972, the rope that carries one of the cars to the top of one of the steep climbs on the track snapped.

An anti-roll mechanism is meant to then kick in to stop the car rolling backwards down the steep track – however this also failed.

The chains of cars then went falling back down towards the boarding area, where it smashed into a wall.

Five children died, and 13 adults were seriously injured.

 

The Mindbender – Alberta, Canada

The Mindbender is the world’s largest indoor rollercoaster.

In 1986, one of the screws in the wheels of the last car on a train became loose, and fell out.

The last car then disengaged from the track, swinging wildly behind the remaining carrages, flinging terrified customers to the ground.

As the remain cars attempted to climb the steep last loop, it stalled and began flying backwards – losing control and crashing into a concrete pillar.

Three people were killed, and one seriously injured.

 

Medieval trebuchet - Middlemoor Water Park, UK

The ride, modelled on the medieval war weapon, flung patrons from the mock weapon to a safety sling.

However in 2002, one Oxford student who went on the ride missed the safety net, and was slammed in to the ground and killed.

 

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – Disneyland, California, USA

A 22-year-old died in a rare accident at a Disneyland park in 2003.

The ride derailed as a result of a mechanical failure.

The car derailed and was flung into the air, before it came down and landed on the chest of the victim.

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