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Kentucky Kingdom (SFKK, KK) Discussion Thread

P. 401: Herschend Enterprises named majority partner and park operator

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It's neither cheap, easy, or practical to dig a 100 foot deep tunnel. Apparently Roller Coaster Tycoon is catching on again.

Herschend was and is a different brand than Six Flags.   There is one certainty. Kentucky Kingdom will not be receiving a launched wooden roller coaster any time soon.

Yeah, I think the only 'concern' is because people see this park going more the way of Celebration City or Wild Adventures than becoming the next SDC or Dollywood.  I think it will stay pretty much th

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Yeah willski, in the end, we don't know either way.

 

A teeny tiny part of me wishes I had been there so I could know what actually happened instead of having to try and figure it out from eyewitness reports which, as it was pointed out, weren't exactly the sharpest people in the world.

 

But then I come back to reality and realize that I am infinitely more glad that I wasn't there, as I can't imagine what seeing something like that in person would do to me.

 

Think about the park employees who were for the most part finally getting plugged into their park and being encouraged to take ownership by the new GM, just to have something like this happen.

 

Think specifically about the park employees who witnessed the accident, especially the ride ops at the time, and all those who helped in the care of the girl, those who had to clean it up, and those who over the next few months will have to figure out what happened.

 

Think about all the guests in the park who saw it happen. I'm sure there were probably a few little kids in the front at the time who might have some image infused in their minds forever.

 

Most importantly, keep your thoughts and prayers with the girl and her family. Can you imagine being in the park and having that happen or being at home, thinking your daughter is having a fun day at the park, and suddenly getting a phone call telling you that something like this has happened? The young girl, just put yourself in her place. One second you are a happy-go-lucky 13-year-old, wrapping up an amazing day at the park, and the next you face the prospect of many surgeries followed by years of physical therapy, as well as the simple fact that we all take for granted of having fun and letting go in an amusement park, and not thinking about any safety concerns.

 

Whether or not it was neglect in maintenance or just a freak accident, a girl's life changed forever today, and we should keep that at the forefront of our thoughts.

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So....she DID have legs....you get a gold star.

I do find it odd that so many people find it a priority to criticize the way these people speak after such a horrible accident. We get it, they're stupid hillbillies or whatever. It's a pretty common stereotype.

 

How about criticizing the park for not being able to keep a guest attached to their feet? But no, the first thing out of your mouth is "This won't keep ME from riding!" and "It must have been a freak accident!"

 

But yeah these country bumpkins speak pretty funny guys a-hyuck-yuck.

I just can't imagine what this (even witnessing it) would do to my psyche as a park enthusiast, let alone a random visitor. I'm sure that this is exponentionally more terrifying for that poor girl & I truly wish the best for her physically & mentally!
It definitely has an effect on people. It makes you lose confidence in an industry you enjoy so much. I don't think it's wrong to feel that way.

 

Okay, I really want to respond to this, but first I have to ask.. Are you serious? Really, are you serious?

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My first reaction is that this was caused by bad maintenance. I don't understand how the cable just snaps like that. There had to be warning signs, or at least I hope there were warning signs.

 

Was the cable showing unusual wear?

 

Were abnormal sounds coming from the ride?

 

Hopefully this will all come out after the investigation, but I don't think I could ever be content with "freak accident". This HAD to be caused by bad maintenance, otherwise I'd be really hesitant to go on these things in the future.

 

Well, to me this sounds similar to the TTD/KK cable snaps. It's not necessarily bad maintenance, but it's very well possible that it was. I really think what happened was it just frayed, and snapped. Similar to TTD's cable snap. The cable got worn and frayed, the stress of the train on the cable just snapped it. I mean, the cars are really heavy, so they put a lot of stress on the cable.

 

But what I'm not understanding on these rides is one very simple thing; Why don't they protect/cover the cables? I mean, it doesn't seem like a very hard concept to keep people safe. Why not do it?

 

On another note, I feel really bad for anybody who was closely involved in the incident. The girl, the ride ops, the guy who had to clean it up, SFKK, the girls family, the doctors, everyone involved.

 

-Mike "I can't really say much more about the girl other than a simple 'wow'" J

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I agree this is not the time to be joking, and I even was offended by the jokes. If this was someone in your family how would you feel if someone was making fun of you in the same way.

 

Back on topic. I'm not sure if it's related to in the accident, but KI's Drop Zone was shut down this evening when we tried to ride around 9pm. It was open however when we arrived at park at 5pm. I wouldn't be a bit Surprised if it was closed down for this reason.

 

About the cables, I know DZ's cables have been replaced several times, I really hope it wasn't bad maintenance that caused the accident at KK. That wouldn't be very good at Six Flags. They already been thru that a few years back, in the late 90's. I feel bad for the girl, and my prayers are with her and her family.

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Possible theory in my mind that's different from a randomly breaking cable:

 

This all depends on whether the lift car cables are all 3 lifted by the same motor, or if each one is lifted on a separate drive with a tension control system.

 

Suppose one of the 3 cables on a catch car has a drive failure, and the ride doesn't register a fault. That cable would be hanging slack in a big loop, able to wrap around drop shuttles and guests. The ride drops as usual and the shuttle gets tangled in the slack cable on the way down.

 

This could also happen if the top end of a cable came undone from the raising mechanism and got stuck at the top of the tower, which would be possible still if it's one drive system for all 3 cables on each car. If I remember, the cables are done with a standard sort of fastener on each end, looped around and bolted instead of some fancy whole-cable weave incorporating loops in one solid piece.

 

 

 

It just makes more sense to me than a randomly breaking cable, considering that stuff should be checked pretty much daily. Whatever happened, if it was anything like my little theory there the ride should've faulted if properly designed and never released the car, or even lifted it the whole way. Smart and complete safety design is not something I think of first when "Intamin" and "1995" are thrown next to each other, but still I'd like to hope my idea there would be caught by a computer and is all just incorrect pondering.

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Well, to me this sounds similar to the TTD/KK cable snaps. It's not necessarily bad maintenance, but it's very well possible that it was.

I hope it is because something like that can be fixed. I mean, if it was just a freak accident where the cause could not be determined, then it's sort of like a lottery. It's like, you have a 1 in 50,000,000 chance of losing a limb on this ride! We have no idea when it's going to happen and there's nothing we can do about it!

 

I mean, a good example is the Big Thunder accident. It was horribly tragic but it was preventable and apparently they fixed their policies and brought in new management and that's why I ride with confidence.

 

Now what if they had said they had no idea what caused it? That's a lot more disconcerting than anything else, not knowing. Time will tell with Kentucky Kingdom.

Okay, I really want to respond to this, but first I have to ask.. Are you serious? Really, are you serious?

I don't know which statement you are referring to but I am serious about both of them, yes.

 

Make fun of white trash hillbillies all you want. I'm not offended. But it's been done to death and it's just tiresome. They are witnesses. You know what they mean. Criticizing their speech is just another chance to be an Internet elitist and show how much better you are than them.

 

As far as the other one goes, yes, accidents like this do make me lose confidence in the industry.

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. I mean, if it was just a freak accident where the cause could not be determined, then it's sort of like a lottery. It's like, you have a 1 in 50,000,000 chance of losing a limb on this ride!

 

 

the marketing just writes itself!

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I agree this is not the time to be joking, and I even was offended by the jokes. If this was someone in your family how would you feel if someone was making fun of you in the same way.

I'm only going to say this once.

 

It is not YOUR place to tell someone else how they should or shouldn't react to a situation.

 

Some people deal with tragedy by shock and sorrow, some people use humor. Neither is "bad." While one may not be as socially acceptable as the other, you cannot tell someone that they should be feeling EXACTLY like you do in a situation.

 

Just turn on David Letterman or Jay Leno any night of the week and they are making jokes based on others misfortune all the time.

 

So please, do not turn this thread into passing judgement on how someone else deals with the situation.

 

Discuss the accident. Fine. Do not get into a silly pissing match over who's the better person for making a joke or not making a joke.

 

'Nuff said.

 

--Robb "I find this to be a VERY disturbing and freaky accident...but yet I thought the humor was a nice break from the serious news." Alvey

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I must say, the couple of comments made were rather humorous...

 

As for the accident, thats ridiculous and crazy. Definatly a 1 in an insanleylargenumber shot of anything like that happening. I think the girl who gave up her seat actually may suffer more than the girl who got the de-footication.

 

Seriously, it would be like the person who calls into work the day of 9/11 and a buddy is called in your place. Shes gotta be so disturbed right now.

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Robb and Anthony

 

I have to agree with both of you. As Robb said, some people just deal with tragedy through humor. There are those of us here whose careers sometimes put them in situations where gallows humor is the ONLY way to deal with something (I'm sure Rich will agree with me on that). Being in such a career myself, I'll admit that while I do find this tragedy disturbing and truly sad, I also found myself laughing out loud at some of the sicker comments, much to the disdain of the rest of the midwatch (that would be the overnight shift for you non-Federal-law-enforcement types).

 

Bad things happen to good people all the time (anyone who knows me well enough knows I'm all too familiar with that particular truth), but personally affected or not, we all have our own ways of dealing with it, and I'm sure this family will too. Hell, I remember for years my family joked about getting my now deceased uncle and his prosthetic leg to ride B:TR with one of his older legs, loosened up a bit.

 

I also remember the same uncle slipping in his kitchen and his leg coming off and skittering across the floor. He was more concerned about the half-dozen grilled steaks he was carrying in from the patio. That incident became joke fodder for years. Even now my wife and I joke about our daughter coming back from the spirit world to harass and torture the cats...daily, it seems (I actually have some pretty cool orb photos from this week that have me almost convinced that she really does).

 

In any case, we can all agree that this tragedy is just that...a terrible tragedy, and one we wouldn't wish upon anyone. Some of us say we'll never ride an Intamin 2nd Gen again, some of us say we'll be the first in line tomorrow morning. Laughing at someone else's tragedy doesn't make one fundamentally hateful...it makes one human. That same person might react quite the opposite next time.

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I know! She's probably thinking something like if she went on instead that this whole thing wouldn't happen. Just a question, does anyone know when her feet got cut off?

 

June 21.

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I know! She's probably thinking something like if she went on instead that this whole thing wouldn't happen. Just a question, does anyone know when her feet got cut off?

 

June 21.

 

nah, it happened about 2 weeks ago... hence the "no blood"... they put shoes on her stumps and took her to the park in a clever attempt to get money out of Six Flags..... it was supposed to come off on the stand up... but the drop ride coincidence presented an opportunity.

 

there are some sick people out there.

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^^ Well said Pete. And on that note, let's please put any discussion on whether or not someone should or shouldn't use humor to deal with a situation aside, and just leave the discussion to the accident itself.

 

Thanks!

 

--Robb

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This is so freaky! How can this happen?

 

http://www.wlky.com/news/13547817/detail.html

 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Police confirmed that a 13-year-old girl's feet have been cut off at Six Flags' Kentucky Kingdom.

 

Officials said they got the call around 5 p.m. Thursday and both her feet were detached at the ankle.

 

According to MetroSafe dispatch supervisors, the girl was riding the Superman Tower of Power, which is 177 feet tall and drops riders at 54 miles per hour. According to Kentucky Kingdom, the girl was injured when the ride malfunctioned.

 

 

“We seen the cable break loose soon as it got to the top on the right-hand side,” said Chris Williams, who witnessed the event.

 

Treva Smith said it snapped again as the ride descended.

 

“The people on the ride just came and hit the ground,” Smith said.

 

Next, Williams said she saw the teen maimed.

 

“As the ride came down, the wire swung left, struck the young lady on the back side of my children,” Williams said.

 

Williams’ daughter Amber said she gave up her seat to the 13-year-old and was sitting on the other side of the ride. Williams rushed toward the ride to find his daughter. As Smith raced to find members of her group she said she made a gruesome discovery.

 

“When I got up there, the lady, she was just sitting there and she didn’t have no legs,” Smith said. “She didn’t have no legs at all. She was just calm, probably in shock from everything.”

 

Smith said she saw no blood and the girl wasn’t crying but the same couldn’t be said for many who witnessed the incident on the ride formerly known as the Hellevator.

 

“My son’s over there tripping out man,” Williams said. “You want to come to a park and feel safe you know. We’ve got season passes. We’re not coming back for sure.”

 

But other visitors aren’t so worried.

 

“Every park, one in a million maybe something happens,” park visitor Kenneth Lay said. “But I have no fear.”

 

On scene EMT personnel were on hand to immediately transport the girl to a hospital. As of 10:34 p.m. Thursday there was no word on her condition.

 

The ride was shut down and will remain so until a full investigation has been completed.

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I have only started following the whole amusement park scene recently, but is it normal to have so many of these types of incidents?

 

Already in the last 4 months there have been countless tragic incidents such as this involving loss of life or severe injuries.

 

I'm not having a punt at the safety record of any parks or the types of rides in general. Statistically im sure its safer spending time on a coaster than a plane, which is statistically safer than being on a bus, which is safer than being in a car! =P

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Some seasons are worse than others. 2007 certainly isn't a very good one.

 

I don't remember many lethal (or horrible) rider accidents from the past decade. Usually gardeners and mechanics are the victims.

Worst accident ever has got to be the Mindbender crash at Edmonton. Three deaths after a car partially derailed, hit a couple of pilars and finally came to a halt against a concrete footer.

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I used the information below for a project I did, it is a few years old now but things haven't changed that much since 2003. Page 14 onwards details statistics of ride to injury ratios in US amusement parks.

 

Some of you may also find much of the rest of the report interesting, it explains why vertical loops aren't actually circular etc, and ASTM suggested limits for g's against time, which it goes on to say have been adopted by many states as law. Which could go some way to explaining why some rides have OTSR's and perhaps why maverick's roll was removed (asides the fact it might just have been too painful).

 

www.biausa.org/word.files.to.pdf/good.pdfs/BlueRibbonReport.pdf

 

Back on the subject, I hope the girl makes a good recovery given the time...

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A spokesman for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions said the organization doesn't keep safety statistics for individual rides, although operators and state ride-safety agencies do. According to the association, 1,713 injuries occurred on rides in 2005, when more than 300 million park visitors took 1.8 billion rides. Of those, 132 required overnight treatment in a hospital.

 

132 in 1.8 billion. Or, if you're including all injuries, including those which are very minor, 1713 in 1.8 billion, and you know about half of those (if not more) are due to rider error, operator error, etc etc, stuff that can be avoided.

 

Basically, to those of you who are saying that if it *was* a freak accident, you'd find that more scary, I agree, I would almost rather hear that blame can be correctly placed somewhere simply for my own peace of mind... Even if it *was* a freak occurrence which no determinable cause for the cable snapping, look at the odds, and don't worry about it.

 

A Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom spokesperson told us they inspect each ride every day before the park opens

 

I queried somewhere about the sort of safety checks that go into drop rides, I never knew how heavily they were inspected... At least this tells me it's a daily thing.

 

Surprised there hasn't been more news yet, she should be out of surgery by now... I really hope they managed to reattach her feet. It will still mean a long period of physical therapy and trauma, but surely that has to be better than the alternative.

 

Still *VERY* creeped out by this.

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Horrible accident, but i found it interesting how one article kept reffering to it's old name "Hellavator". I still can't work out how her legs were severed, but anyway. Cables just don't snap when their in good condition, so that kind of says something about the accident.

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One of the Louisville news outlets has a link posted to Coasterbuzz (?) and is reporting that ANOTHER incident occurred on a drop tower ride at a New York fair last night, resulting in seven injuries. Anyone else heard about this one?

 

Shari

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Wow, I just saw the news, and unlike most accidents,(where the rider did something stupid) I feel sympathy for the girl and family. I can't imagine what she(or the riders that were next to her) had to go through, and what was supposed to be fun turned into a tragic accident. As for the lawsuit that will soon come, I don't feel anger towards the family as they deserve compensation.(just not 40,000,000)

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