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What do you think is the most notable theme park tragedy?

 

I would put up either the crash of the Mindbender at the Edmonton mall, the enterprise fire at Tivoli, or the Fujin Raijin II accident.

 

 

In the USA as of last couple of years, I'd say the kid getting decapitated by BTR at SFOG.

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Nah, the girl who got her legs cut off on Tower of Power. That scared a decent amount of people everywhere off of drop towers.

 

Agreed. It's one of the accidents where it wasn't the rider's fault.

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Nah, the girl who got her legs cut off on Tower of Power. That scared a decent amount of people everywhere off of drop towers.

 

Agreed. It's one of the accidents where it wasn't the rider's fault.

 

 

Do ya'll think if that accident never occured, that Six Flags would have pulled out of Kentucky Kingdom still? I mean I know they weren't the most popular park in the chain, but it seems like the accident just gave them the leverage they needed.

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I think it depends on the region as well. I know the CGA Drop Tower was pretty popular here. To this day, I still try to figure that one out as we were there the day before riding it for the first time. They were ready to dispatch when my friend noticed we weren't 'secured.' Whether if anything would have happened (or if the ride would have dispatched without locked restraints) is beyond me but that did not help add to the fear factor.

Today however, Drop Tower is one of my favorite rides at CGA. Another notable one in the area here was the guy who got 'decked' by Flight Deck's train when....you guessed it! Retrieving a hat! Riders suffered broken legs, hat retriever/fence hopper was killed. This wouldn't be a ride accident though, but a human accident...an accident for bringing the guy into the park so he can hop fences and get KO'd by a B&M invert.

 

And in the fictitious world, let's not forget the Sky Whirl (or Spider) incident at Great America (I mean, Wonder World) where 2 kids were rescued by a guy who hopped from cage to cage. In the end, the kids and the hero made it down sliding on a rope as the cage fell off the ride and landed on the ground next to them. Part of me wonders if this fictitious incident could have been part of why we no longer have Triple Wheel. On the other hand, I'm sure parts were hard to get a hold of.

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In 1989, the idiot boy who jumped out of the log at the bottom of the big lift, was pinned underneath the next log, and drowned on Logger's Run at CGA all because his idiot friends dared him to...some friends.

 

In years prior, there were the two incidents on Willard's Whizzer, also at CGA, one of which resulted in a boy's death which ultimately caused the ride to be removed.

 

Then there is the "mysterious" death of the mentally challenged person that fell out of Drop Zone.

 

But I think the most famous or talked about accident would be the little girl on the drop ride.

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I agree that the Kentucky Kingdom drop tower accident is, indeed, the most "sensational" one. But I think the Big Thunder Mountain derailment at Disneyland that killed a man and injured many others in 2003 may have been even more significant--a truly tragic accident that forced Disney to take a serious look at ride upkeep again.

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I always think of the girl losing her legs to the intamin cable...

 

Alternatively I think of the man killed by rocking the sky-ride off its cable at Magic Mountian, the Superman RoS ejections (including the most recent one at Darien Lake), and this video.

 

*Disclaimer, I do not watch maury... just saw it on the web. Seriously not my type of show.

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^ But realistically, Battersea was a long time ago, nearly 40 years, and that was on a very old ride when safety standards really aren't what they are today. Sure, it's notable, but by modern day standards, accidents like the Mindbender incident or the SFKK drop ride should just not have happened.

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Readers will probably know of this link...

 

RideAccidents(dot)com

 

Lots of reports... lots of history.

 

But going back further... there are a few notorious accident stories of lore.

 

Although not specifically a ride incident, the one that always comes to mind because of the extent of the tragedy...

 

Haunted Castle fire @ SFGAdv

 

It's been mentioned in another post from 2006... but youtube contains a documentary on the Haunted Castle fire. It's qualitative and narrative... yet eerily informing, too. The quality is not the best. It was the creator's film project for a class (I think). However... I really enjoyed it and for some creepy, campy amusement industry history... a good one to watch during Halloween season. You can find the documentary links HERE. Also, the Haunted Castle wiki article is HERE (where I speculate content could have been contributed by the book's author... similar writing feel/style).

 

He also put out a really interesting .pdf book on the subject called, "Doorway to Hell: The mysteries and Controversies behind the Haunted Castle Fire." I looked for it again online but came up empty. However, I downloaded a copy a couple years ago and have it on file. The same fellow who filmed the documentary also wrote the book. He put a lot of time into it! (edit: If you would like a copy of the book send me a PM or email... I'll forward it until doing so becomes cumbersome.)

 

... and hanging to this subject by looser threads...

 

I found some link that I'm about to post on another topic about another incident at SFGAdv. It's not as notable, per se, but a park employee fell from Rolling Thunder back in 1981... this is related to a ghost story... *jumps to other thread*

Edited by theGrayZone
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Readers will probably know of this link...

 

RideAccidents(dot)com

 

Lots of reports... lots of history.

 

But going back further... there are a few notorious accident stories of lore.

 

The one that always comes to mind because of the extent of the tragedy...

 

Haunted Castle fire @ SFGAdv

 

It's been mentioned in another post from 2006... but youtube contains a documentary on the Haunted Castle fire. It's qualitative and narrative... yet eerily informing, too. The quality is not the best. It was the creator's film project for a class (I think). However... I really enjoyed it and for some creepy, campy amusement industry history... a good one to watch during Halloween season. You can find the documentary links HERE.

 

He also put out a really interesting .pdf book on the subject called, "Doorway to Hell: The mysteries and Controversies behind the Haunted Castle Fire." I looked for it again online but came up empty. However, I downloaded a copy a couple years ago and have it on file. The same fellow who filmed the documentary also wrote the book. He put a lot of time into it!

 

... and hanging to this subject by looser threads...

 

I found some link that I'm about to post on another topic about another incident at SFGAdv. Although not notable, per se, a park employee fell from Rolling Thunder back in 1981... this is related to a ghost story... *jumps to other thread*

 

wasn't Great Adventure a death trap in the 80's? Someone fell out of Lighting Loops, also didnt they?

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... Someone fell out of Lighting Loops, also didnt they?

 

Indeed... I had started posting about that and several other classic accidents before deleting and adding what I did above. I actually have a small file of newspaper clippings I collected as a kid on ride accidents. Now I'm all inspired to dig out that folder and see what's in there... been years since I went through it. I know I have one or more articles about the "Mindbender" accident when it happened, though! Crazy... sad... yet classic.

 

Check out the (almost 7 min.) youtube news report montage concerning the Lightning Loops accident:

 

Edited by theGrayZone
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... Someone fell out of Lighting Loops, also didnt they?

 

Indeed... I had started posting about that and several other classic accidents before deleting and adding what I did above. I actually have a small file of newspaper clippings I collected as a kid on ride accidents. Now I'm all inspired to dig out that folder and see what's in there... been years since I went through it. I know I have one or more articles about the "Mindbender" accident when it happened, though! Crazy... sad... yet classic.

 

Check out the (almost 7 min.) youtube news reports about Lightning Loops

.

 

 

 

the clothes people wore in the 80's yikes.

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Battersea. End thread.

 

I remember seeing some newsreel footage in a coaster documentary I saw about 12 years ago, and I'm wondering if this was the accident. I can't find the footage online, but it showed the station with the two trains smashed together, and I believe an interview with someone who was in line who says the train was going up the lift and then just fell back down the hill into the loading train. Looked like it was 70s or 80s news footage?

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Although an accident was NOT the result in the following video... it could have turned out ugly. I saw the vid a few years ago and it has popped up on other sites since... and I was like "Whoah - no waaay" when I first saw it... but check it...

 

A train is stuck at the top of a lift... maintenance/ops appear to be helping unload riders... the train begins moving forward while one person is getting up and about to disembark... restraints are still up... the train rolls over the top and cruises ahead... you can see people pulling OTSRs down as the train accelerates... rear OTSRs for empty seats are still up... here you go:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MECcvwtocac

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... it could have turned out ugly.

 

Haha... I don't know if it's poor nets etiquette to quote oneself, but I was quickly reminded of something...

 

I was riding "Red Devil" (years before becoming "Cliffhanger") at Ghost Town in the Sky over and over one day. The ride ops at that time were interestingly costumed in jeans and cut-off "metal band" shirts. I mention that to give you an idea of the potentially unsurprising thing I saw happen later. The trains always seemed to have concrete & rebar weights loaded into various cars... to weigh the train down I was told. The weights could always be seen in the station somewhere.

 

Right... so later in the day the crowds were pretty thin. I was sitting in the rear car, marathoning the "Devil". Several times we had to wait in the train for a few people to queue up and add weight (again, as I was told), although the concrete blocks filled several seats in the train already. This one time we came off the lift, rolled into the station, and remained for only a few seconds before the brakes were released. The only riders on the train that time were myself and a couple other kids.... and no one else was in the station. Suddenly, a ride op stepped from the platform onto the front row of the rolling train and kind of half stood/squatted as we rounded out the station, to the right, and into the drop... loop... figure-8 turns... brakes... lift.

 

I was wide-eyed the whole freaking circuit... wondering what the hell the op was thinking (smoking)... hoping nothing bad would happen...

 

... and nothing happened to him at all.

 

Back in the station I said something to them... something like an incredulous kid would say, "Maaan that was craazy, you coulda fallen out... weren't you scared you'd fall out?!!" (which at that time probably translated into: holy crap, that was awesome, you're my hero for the moment, will you let me try that?) See... he'd stepped onto the train after the lap-bar was already down in that row/seat... and only remained on the edge of the seat the rest of the ride... sitting on top of, and in front of the lap-bar that was closed behind him. This was important because, even as a kid, I was already well aware of the situation regarding the Lightning Loop incident with the OTSR closing before the woman sat down... registering as secured... allowing for the train's release with her sitting precariously on top of it... falling to her death seconds later.

 

Anyway... the jeans-rocker-op was completely nonchalant about the whole thing spouting off something like, "Awww, naah, I've done that a lot. Forces on these rides would keep anybody in... lapbars aren't really needed either but are just there cause they gotta be." (Ah, and just to tie back in the whole "concrete & rebar weights", occasionally waiting for other riders to add weight-to-train detail from earlier... he said something about jumping on the train to add weight to it. Which was cool and all except b.s. because the three of us kids had just been on a circuit without him or anyone else weighing the train down.)

 

So I spent the next umpteen number of rides analyzing his statement by loosely/limberly sitting in the middle of the seat, focusing attention on how glued and centered my butt remained in that position throughout the course. You know what, he was pretty right-on. I was pinned in a reasonably fixed location the whole time... under my lap-bar, with seatbelt fastened.

 

I am now a pretty big nerd about personal safety (while not losing the "fun" element). Memories like that and other liability stuff I've observed or been privy to... are probably why.

 

 

Oh... and for the record... I've definitely worn jeans and metal shirts... just not the cut-off variety... no hatin' here.

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Battersea. End thread.

 

I remember seeing some newsreel footage in a coaster documentary I saw about 12 years ago, and I'm wondering if this was the accident. I can't find the footage online, but it showed the station with the two trains smashed together, and I believe an interview with someone who was in line who says the train was going up the lift and then just fell back down the hill into the loading train. Looked like it was 70s or 80s news footage?

 

from wiki

The fun fair's most spectacular ride was a rollercoaster called The Big Dipper, which opened in 1951. It was of wooden construction and suffered a major fire in 1970. It was permanently closed down after five children were killed and thirteen others injured in an accident on 30 May 1972 when one of the trains became detached from the haulage rope, before rolling back to the station (the anti-rollback mechanism having also failed) and colliding with the other train.

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