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Kentucky Kingdom (SFKK, KK) Discussion Thread


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This is just awful, I hope they can reattach the girls feet sucessefully. Hopefully after extensive phyiscal and mental therapy she can get back to a somewhat normal life.

 

I worked Hellavator for 4 yrs, and I always feared a accident of some type could occur and prayed it never would. The only way I could see a cable causing this was as the catch wagons were pulling the car up it snapped and whipped back down in a flash and caught her legs. The cables are not attached to the cars so it wouldn't have traveled down with her. it SHOULD have stayed attached to the catch wagons.

 

The local news just came on and reported the girl was 13, and as the car reached the top " a cable" snapped dropping the car. " Eye Witnesses" say when the car came to a stop, the girl was just sitting there in shock and wasn't bleeding much. The news reported that the girl was taken to the hospital for emergency surgery. " While the surgery is a difficult one with all the advances it has a very good sucess rate.

 

Kentucky Kingdom has not released a " offical" statement, but says after an investigation they would tell the public what happened.

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Local Cincy news tonight is also reporting the girl was 13 and that she was struck somehow by a broken cable. Beyond that, details are still sketchy, but it definitely DID NOT sound as if they were in any way able to save/reattach the severed limbs.

 

Shari

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While the situation is obviously terrible and tragic, some of the comments of the park patrons are kind of funny.

 

"The people on the ride just came and hit the ground," she said. "When I got up there, the lady she was just sitting there, and she didn't have no legs. ... And she was just there, calm, probably in shock from everything."

 

"I seen the car go up. Then, like, the cable broke, I heard -- pwchh -- and I heard a lot of people screaming," Chris Stinnett, who was at a ride next to the Superman Tower of Power, told WDRB/WMYO. "The cable went under the car -- and I seen it pull up and hit a lot of people -- and I seen them bring their legs up," Stinnett said.

 

Kentucky lives up to its reputation.

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She was, in fact, 13. According to this site ( http://www.rideaccidents.com/ ), SFKK has released the following statement.

 

"At approximately 4:45 p.m. on Thursday, 6-21-07, the Superman Tower of Power ride at the Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom Park in Louisville, Ky. malfunctioned and injured a 13-year-old female, whose legs were severed above the ankle. The EMTs at the park were on the scene immediately and the girl was transported to UL hospital, where she is currently being treated. We have been in contact with both the hospital and her family. The ride has been shut down and will remain so until a full investigation has been completed. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and provide whatever assistance we can."

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While watching the 11:00 news, on WLKY they showed a close-up of what looked like part of a snapped cable. That is the first actual picture I have seen of it.

Let's go through this. You're being pulled up the tower. Even though there are three cables on every car, each cable is still under pretty high tension because the cars are heavy plus you have the weight of the riders.

 

A common theme among many of the eyewitness interviews on the local news involved not only the cable snapping but the car dropping. It would have been impossible for the car to drop if only one or if even two cables snapped because I am sure they can all individually support the weight of the car as a backup.

 

Seeing as how only one girl got injured, I have to believe that the car was near the top, meaning that very little of the cable was exposed to come around and do damage, otherwise more people would likely have been injured.

 

So you're somewhere near the top, and the break happens. For every action there is an equal but opposite reaction. The upward tension on the cable that broke would have caused a reaction of a quick downward movement, causing it to come down past the catch car, around the edge of the rider car, and in just the right place to reach the girl's legs. Now of course these cables are moving pretty fast because they are under such high tension, meaning that flesh and bone is nothing to it.

 

Since you're so close to the top, you're soon locked in. The girl was probably screaming, but since they were probably at the top, everyone probably assumed she was screaming because they were about to drop. This is just a few seconds after the break happens, so as an onlooker on the ground, it is almost instantaneous, especially when you've just seen what happened. 3...2...1...drop.

 

That seems like what might have happened.

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I'm not all that familiar with the mechanics of these rides, so I'm not sure of all the logistics, but I have two guesses as to how this happened:

 

[i used this video to get a closer look at the ride.]

 

1) Judging by video, only the catch-car has a cable attached to it, so the cable most likely would have snapped before it disengaged, with part of the cable still attached to the top of it (hypothetically, this still-attached piece would be long enough to reach the young girl's feet).

 

2) The ride plummeted as usual, but with the catch-car still attached.

 

3) As the brakes slowed the ride, the inertia caused this piece of cable to continue plummeting downwards, over the front of the ride (similar to if someone's ponytail falls forward in front of their face), where the frayed, jagged metal edges of the cable unfortunately came into contact with this poor girl's feet.

 

Or...

 

1) At some point in the ride, the cable snapped.

 

2) Since the cable can be seen behind the cars, the now-snapped cable that was behind them went limp, with it falling to the ground and somehow coiling-up beneath the ride (think of it like a bed of spikes on the ground), or at least being in some point mid-fall to be jutting out from behind the designated ride-path (like some buzz-saw flying through the air).

 

3) As the car came down, the girl's feet hit the cable (whether being physically cut, or quickly getting tangled by it, either in mid-fall or hitting it on the ground), resulting in the tragedy.

 

///

 

Explanations aside, there's really not much to say other than "oh my god" and "what a terrible tragedy". In some ways, it's more gruesome and depressing than most coaster accidents, in that the fact that it didn't result in death means that this poor girl will now have a life-time to deal with the ramifications. Likewise, it would seem that it wasn't any type or rider- or operator-error either. Hell, it might not even be a maintenance issue, they might have checked it out mere minutes before this girl got on, in which case it wouldn't even be Intamin's fault (theoretically assuming that everything seemed to be fine) though that won't be known until the investigation is done.

 

No, it might just be some terrible freak accident, because of Gods in the sky or planets being aligned or whatever - she might just have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. And if it was just a freak accident - which is all we can call it at this point - and there is nobody to blame and nobody at fault, then that means that there were no warning-signs that anybody could have looked for nor any precautions that anybody could have taken. And when it seems like there's nothing to look for, nothing to focus on, and nothing to protect ourselves from, then it makes you feel like it could have happened to you.

 

Our hearts go out to this poor, poor girl.

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I was at work at SFKK today, however was in the back end of the park working gift shops in Splashwater Kingdom at the moment.

 

I truly feel terrible for this poor girl and her family. Hopefully this is just a freak accident which now can be prevented elsewhere. I also feel bad for SFKK. This year was definitely looking promising and now this tragic accident. I hope that this doesn't effect everyone's already negative views to SFKK. It could have happened at any park, at anytime, to anyone.

 

Kevin Conley

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So you're somewhere near the top, and the break happens. For every action there is an equal but opposite reaction. The upward tension on the cable that broke would have caused a reaction of a quick downward movement, causing it to come down past the catch car, around the edge of the rider car, and in just the right place to reach the girl's legs. Now of course these cables are moving pretty fast because they are under such high tension, meaning that flesh and bone is nothing to it.

 

 

 

No, the cable would snap upward due to the tension, and that's what makes the least sense to me.

 

If they were really at the top and the cable snapped (assuming high tension), it wouldn't be able to reach the girl's leg, which would have been 10-15 feet below the attachment point. It would come to rest at or above the attachment point (especially if it had curled). I think a cable on another car snapped and wrapped around her legs, possibly mid-fall. This would also support eyewitness reports that the cable came around behind her legs (althought those are most likely inaccurate).

 

 

Either way, I hope they were able to reattach her feet and that she will have a full recovery.

 

 

 

And finally, a rides department supervisor who I am personally close to cleaned up the mess, including the removal of blood and limps, as disturbing as it sounds.

 

 

 

Kevin Conley

 

 

Not to discount what you heard, but I'm fairly certain that they would not have left her detached feet on the ride platform. They would have been placed over ice or some other preserving substance so they could be rushed with her to the hospital to be reattached.

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Not to discount what you heard, but I'm fairly certain that they would not have left her detached feet on the ride platform. They would have been placed over ice or some other preserving substance so they could be rushed with her to the hospital to be reattached.

 

Yes, from what I heard you are correct. It's not like they just disposed of them.

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Maybe I don't understand what you're saying, and maybe you don't understand what I'm saying, so I'll try to explain myself better.

 

I think the cable itself snapped. Not at any attachment point, but the cable itself snapped. If it had snapped at an attachment point, yes, the entire cable would have been jerked up, and the reaction of the car moving down would have obviously been negated by the other two cables and/or the locking mechanism at the top of the tower. The cable that did the damage had to be outside the tower at the time.

 

If the car is near the top, very little of the cable is outside of the tower. If the cable itself snapped, however, there would be downward force from the force of gravity pulling on the car, and upward force from the motor pulling the car to the top, the downward force from the car would cause the little bit of cable from whichever cable that snapped to violently snap downwards, because suddenly the entire force of gravity pulling the car down is suddenly being put into that one short cable.

 

When the short bit of cable snapped down, it would have continued in the same direction until acted on by an outside force- in this case the force of its attachment to the catch car. At this instant it was probably behind the girl's legs, because the cables are behind you as you are going up. When it reached the end of its length, it changed directions, and since it couldn't go backwards due to the tower, it went out, still with a very high force and speed, thus cutting off the girl's feet.

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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.

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Maybe I don't understand what you're saying, and maybe you don't understand what I'm saying, so I'll try to explain myself better.

 

I think the cable itself snapped. Not at any attachment point, but the cable itself snapped. If it had snapped at an attachment point, yes, the entire cable would have been jerked up, and the reaction of the car moving down would have obviously been negated by the other two cables and/or the locking mechanism at the top of the tower. The cable that did the damage had to be outside the tower at the time.

 

If the car is near the top, very little of the cable is outside of the tower. If the cable itself snapped, however, there would be downward force from the force of gravity pulling on the car, and upward force from the motor pulling the car to the top, the downward force from the car would cause the little bit of cable from whichever cable that snapped to violently snap downwards, because suddenly the entire force of gravity pulling the car down is suddenly being put into that one short cable.

 

 

I understand what you mean, and it makes sense to me now, except the last part that I highlighted. The force of gravity on the cart is negated by the normal force exerted by the lifting mechanism. The only force acting on the broken cable would be gravity, which would not accelerate it to the speed necessary to slice off a limb.

 

 

Think of it like this:

 

Cable 1 and 3 don't break.

 

Cable 2 snaps, but tension from lifting mechanism and car are equal, so cable simply breaks in the middle with no speed up or down.

 

Starting from rest at the break point, Cable 2 falls, accelerating to a speed that would cause a nasty friction burn or possibly slight cut, but certainly nothing that would remove a limb.

 

 

I think the cable had to be from another vehicle on the tower or the cable broke on the ascent and ripped her feet off on the way down.

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How awful. It's kind of strange but Drop Zone at GA today was closed around 12:30, so a little before this accident. I agree that this was a freak accident, and this will not stop me from riding Intamin 2nd Gen. freefalls, just as the GA death didn't.

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I think the cable had to be from another vehicle on the tower or the cable broke on the ascent and ripped her feet off on the way down.

But what happens when the catch car reaches the top, cable 2 is wrapped around the girls feet, and then the car drops. With the car dropping, and a cable around the girls ankles, there goes her feet.

 

Wouldn't one of the 3 ride ops catch this and hit the e-stop??? Because the snap would HAVE to be before the ride reached the stopping point. Even then, the ops have a 3 - 4 second window to hit the button their hand should be over....

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"The people on the ride just came and hit the ground," she said. "When I got up there, the lady she was just sitting there, and she didn't have no legs. ... And she was just there, calm, probably in shock from everything."

 

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

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Yeah I completely understand what you're saying.

 

I'm just wondering how much weight (obviously 1/3) but how much actual weight each cable supports as it is being pulled up. I'm sure the cars are quite heavy to be able to attain an exciting speed during the drop.

 

So you've got this really heavy car suspended from three cables. Obviously the cable snapped quickly, meaning that 1/3 of the force of the weight of the car would have been in that cable when it snapped, because it snapped to quickly for the other two to take over the extra force, and therefore didn't have time to negate the force of that cable.

 

In other words, say the car weighs 700 pounds with four passengers. So approximately 233 pounds is being supported by whatever cable broke. If the cable snapped slowly enough, the other two cables would negate the downward acceleration this cable would receive, but it snapped quickly, meaning that it had the force of 233 pounds of tension, causing it to accelerate.

 

In other other words, it would have been better to just have one cable instead of three.

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^^^The cable drops with the car, unless it gets stuck on something, which is another possibility.

 

 

The cable would continure to fall with the car, until the car began braking. Even then it shouldn't rip her feet off, as the cable is only going 60 mph, which is fast, but fast enough to do that.

 

 

It could have gotten stuck on something, and the falling car vs. a stuck cable would definately have ripped her feet off.

 

 

Yeah I completely understand what you're saying.

 

I'm just wondering how much weight (obviously 1/3) but how much actual weight each cable supports as it is being pulled up. I'm sure the cars are quite heavy to be able to attain an exciting speed during the drop.

 

So you've got this really heavy car suspended from three cables. Obviously the cable snapped quickly, meaning that 1/3 of the force of the weight of the car would have been in that cable when it snapped, because it snapped to quickly for the other two to take over the extra force, and therefore didn't have time to negate the force of that cable.

 

In other words, say the car weighs 700 pounds with four passengers. So approximately 233 pounds is being supported by whatever cable broke. If the cable snapped slowly enough, the other two cables would negate the downward acceleration this cable would receive, but it snapped quickly, meaning that it had the force of 233 pounds of tension, causing it to accelerate.

 

In other other words, it would have been better to just have one cable instead of three.

 

 

Yeah, that does make sense. It just depends on the other two cables ability to pick up the tension instantaneously, which I'm not sure if they would (we didn't exactly cover Intamin ride cables snapping in AP Physics).

 

If so, then that is a ton of force in addition to gravity, possibly enough to sever the feet.

 

 

I still think it happened on the drop, but it could've happened either way.

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I'm sure that my observations three weeks ago have absolutely nothing to do with this tragic accident but there was one car that seemed to be out of service for the entire day that I was there - located to left of center as you're looking at the tower from the park entrance - and the entire ride was shut down for a while. Again, most likely in no relation. But it sure is scary for me sitting in front of my computer knowing that I was on it less than a month ago & hate drop towers (and heights in general). Not that this incident will have any affect on me riding towers, 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!

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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.
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I'm just glad that I decided against going there today, like I was halfway planning to. WHo knows, that could have been ME. I feel very sorry for the unfortunate victim. What I want to know is how often the cables are replace on that sort of tower, as that seems to be the problem.

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