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NEWS: Accident at OCT Ecoadventure Valley Shenzen kills six

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Six people were killed in a thrill-ride plunge at a popular amusement park in Shenzhen yesterday. At least nine people - two from Hong Kong - were also injured when the Space Journey, a dome-like, space shuttle simulator plunged 12 meters to the ground with more than 40 people inside.


The accident happened at 4.45pm in Ecoadventure Valley, part of the nine- square-kilometer Overseas Chinese Town East tourist resort. But circumstances surrounding the tragedy remained under tight wraps last night, with no details being offered by authorities or park executives.


A deputy general manager of Overseas Chinese Town East, named Wang, limited himself to saying through Xinhua News Agency that an accident was being investigated.


But witnesses were able to provide a brief outline of what happened. A woman named Zhang from Henan who was riding in the simulator recounted: "There was a sudden loud boom inside the cabin. Then everything went black and I don't know what happened. I was in the hospital when I woke up." She broke her right hand and left leg. Her sister had been with her in the simulator, but her condition was not known.


A rider who escaped unhurt said: "There was a power cut when the crash happened and I smelled something burning. We managed to open the door to escape before firefighters arrived to rescue others."


Another person who made it out without serious injury recalled a smell of burning rubber and the door being jammed. The people inside were trapped and then rescuers broke in, he said.


Most of the riders were unconscious and were rushed to Shenzhen Seventh (Yantian District) People's Hospital and Shenzhen Meisha Hospital. Forty-four people were on the Space Journey, which has a capacity for 48, at the time of the tragedy.


The dome device offers the thrill of a rocket launch, spinning 360 degrees while going up and down, with a 24-meter wide screen providing space scenes. The simulated journey was coming to the end of a routine lasting about five minutes when it all went wrong in the Chinese-designed thrill feature.


Joe Lo, a designer at The Standard who rode on the simulator last month, said he thought it dangerous. He said 48 riders are arranged to sit on a circular simulator four to a row. Then the simulator spins while taking riders up and down to a height of 12 meters. "It's hot and choking inside," he said. "It seemed that if the machine went haywire it would be very dangerous."


Lo Kok-keung, an engineer from the department of mechanical engineering at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, offered the thought that the accident was caused by "high acceleration due to gravity." He explained: "The dropping of a simulator can create an extremely high impact force. The machine, which I believe has a weight of five tonnes, could create two times more impact force." He noted that there are no similar rides in Hong Kong.


"The speed of Hong Kong amusement rides is not as much as that of the Space Journey - even for the Abyss Turbo Drop at Ocean Park."


China Travel Service said the EcoAdventure Valley has been closed and so a tour that would have included it today will be adjusted. Hong Thai Travel Services General Manager Susanna Lau said the firm had a tour group of 25 people in the park yesterday but none were involved in the incident.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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I hate to hear this. I feel really sorry and pray for everyone involved.


I can't really picture what this ride looks like, though. Does anyone have a photo of the attraction?

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I couldn't find anything of the vehicles themselves, just the exterior of the building...


It sounds almost like a centrifuge (ala Mission Space) that rather than tilting in directions to create the forces moves up and down rather quickly... Though, I don't know for sure...


Still sad to see things like this happen. Though, silver-linings do exist in that tragedies do bring about calls for better safety expectations...

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ADMIN EDIT: The mods have discussed the video, and since it is standard for Chinese news broadcasts to use such re-creations, we've decided to restore it. Some of our members may find the content at bit insensitive or tasteless, but that's up to the individual. Thank you, Chuck



Found this amazing and no doubt entirely accurate account of what happened. I'd guess the ride type is almost certainly right (possibly), maybe just maybe a bit of guesswork on the actual accident.

Edited by cfc
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Mechanical problems caused a deadly theme park accident in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province that killed six passengers and injured 10 on Tuesday, authorities said without identifying the specific problem. "Space Journey," a space shuttle simulator ride located in the Overseas Chinese Town East Theme Park in Shenzhen, encountered a mechanical problem and lost its balance with 48 people aboard the high-speed spin operation, the Guangdong-based Dongguan Times reported Thursday.


There are 12 space ship cabins with four enclosed seats on the ride that slammed against the ground several times after losing its balance, Zhang Jie, a sales manager of Overseas Chinese Town Holding Co (OCT Holding), which owns the theme park, told the newspaper Wednesday. "The manufacturer should take responsibility for the accident because we bought the device from them," said Zhang.


An investigative team was sent to the park by the city government. "It can be confirmed that there are mechanical problems with the amusement ride, but the investigation team will still try to work out if it is a production problem or operational mistake," a spokesman for Yantian district, Shenzhen, surnamed Wang, told the Global Times Thursday.


An unidentified official at OCT Holding, told the Guangdong-based Nanfang Daily Wednesday that the "Space Journey" device was manufactured by the Beijing-based Jiuhua Amusement Facilities Manufactory Company and passed a national security check in April 2008.


Calls to Wang Ying, sales manager of Jiuhua company, were unsuccessful.


Zhao Fumei, 22, one of the 10 injured passengers who suffered broken bones, was able to eat plain congee but was uncomfortable with speaking, Zhao's uncle surnamed Liu, told the Global Times Thursday.


Zhao's employer, Sanjia Electronic Device Factory in Dongguan, Guangdong Province paid for the holiday. One of the six who died, Chen Guangming, also worked for the factory. "The park did not inform me about the accident until 7 pm Tuesday, when we were waiting for Zhao and Chen for more than two hours," factory director surnamed Lu, who took 300 workers to the park Tuesday, told the Global Times Thursday. "Also, the park has not offered any compensation package for Chen's family yet."


Zheng Hongxia, deputy manager of the park, told the Nanfang Daily Wednesday that compensation packages for the victims will be discussed and the park will pay for medical expenses for all the injured.




The six people killed in an amusement park ride that malfunctioned were all identified on Wednesday. The six dead include two men and four women aged between 24 and 48. Five of the six dead were from Guangdong province and the other casualty was from Hunan province.


The ten injured have been sent to one district hospital and two municipal-level hospitals in the city of Shenzhen in South China's Guangdong province. Five of them were severely injured, but are in stable condition.


"I saw bodies lying on the floor of the hospital immediately after they arrived," said a middle-aged cleaner, surnamed Qu, on Wednesday in Meisha Hospital, the closest to the Adventure Canyon theme park in the Overseas Chinese Town (OCT) East. "Five had already died and one died later. Clothes covered in blood were spread on the floor. It took me hours to clean the entire hall."


The accident occurred at 4:45 pm on Tuesday during the Space Journey ride, which malfunctioned when 48 passengers were experiencing doubled gravity in the facility, which simulates a rocket launch.


Zeng Hui, general manager of the resort OCT East, said in a statement released by the company on Wednesday that no human failures were responsible for causing the accident. Meanwhile, the official investigation into the accident continues.


The Space Journey has 12 cabins, each of which can accommodate four people. The ride received an A-level national safety standard qualification from the China Special Equipment Inspection and Research Institute in April 2009 and its first public run took place in May 2009.


Zeng said the facility routinely undergoes a safety inspection.


Witnesses said there was an explosion at the scene of the accident.


Hong Kong's Ming Pao Daily News quoted witnesses as saying one cabin came loose during a high-speed spin and struck other cabins. Some of them fell 15 meters, sending passengers tumbling. However, a female PR manager for OCT East, surnamed Zhang, who sought to dampen down all the speculation about the cause of the accident, told China Daily that the investigation is being handled by the government. "The relevant financial departments have already been in the contact with the insurance company over the details," Zhang said.


Compensation is expected to be paid to the victims in accordance with public liability insurance, Zeng said.


OCT East is operated by OCT Enterprises Co, a large State-owned enterprise involved in property development tourism, and electronic manufacturing.

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