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Most Notable Accident

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At the Hamburg carnival Sommerdom in 1981 a crane operated by showmen Witte moved into an operating Schwarzkopf Enterprise - 7 poeple killed either by the impact of the crane or the gondolas got loose and crashed hard into the surroundings and 15 heavily injured. Witte was fined for manslaughter.


Years later Witte went bancrupt with the Berlin park "Spreepark", but he fled with several portable rides to south america where he was later involved in drug trafficking....

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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.


Its not going to be at the forefront of people's minds now, but another 40 years will pass and it will probably still be notable, unlike a lot of the accidents that people are referring to presently (like the SFKK accident). For me, it hits all the quotas - big death toll? Check. Lots of press? Check. Effectively killed the park? Well, it lasted one more season, but really that's a check. Led to an overreaction by authorities and the removal of lots of similar rides? Also a check.


I think aside from that, most of the big ones have been mentioned, but I'm not sure any are really at the same level - the Great Adventure fire, the Mindbender derailing, the crane in Germany, and I think someone mentioned the disastrous Mission Space knockoff in China killing 4 people too. Those are the big ones in modern history. Of them, I think Battersea caused the biggest ripples.

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I think recently it would be the girl who lost her legs on Superman while at Kentucky Kingdom. I don't think I've seen anybody mention Mindbender at the West Edmonton Mall, however I think that ranks as one of the worse derailments I've heard of. A wheel came off causing the ride to derail and smash into a post. I believe it killed a few people.

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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.


Funny you should mention the DT incident back in 99 as it happened the same weekend that the guy was thrown & killed on Shockwave at KD.

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from a 2004 "hobby forum index" found HERE...


Posted: Mon Jul 19, 2004 10:11 pm


Sorry to tell you but I know of one worse.


I discovered this one when I was doing research on a favorite subject

of mine, Willow Grove Park (Phila subs, closed in the 70's)

The exact dates are not recalled to my memory

but the horrors of the coaster accident are burned there forever.


In the early 1920's WGP built a coaster called "Chase Thru the

Clouds" (may have been Race instead of Chase) It was a racing

coaster that could hold 24 passengers per train.

One particular Sat night, in the coaster's second or third season

of operation, 2 trains left the loading barn for their race,.......

but only one came back. 8-(

The second train had left the track on the turn around of this out

and back racer.

The turn was 28 ft off the ground.

16 killed, 8 seriously injured.

The coaster never ran again and was torn down several months later.


( a John Miller Wildcat was built on it's spot but only lasted 2

years before fire destroyed it)


Because of the finanical loss of the 2 coasters, and the

depression, that spot would remain empty til Ed Vettel built the

Thunderbolt on that spot in the mid 30's

It would remain there til the park closed in the 70's


Coastin Steve


... subsequent responses in that topic mentioned a "1927" date and some sources that Steve may have used for the information.


Would someone please post a link to, or short quote about, the Battersea incident? Thanks.

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I've always thought the Great Adventure Haunted House fire was one of the worst I've heard of...


Then after the Lightnin' Loops accident, my brother and I went to the park and it was practically EMPTY! We were able to catch like 4 rides on Ultra Twister with NO LINE (which was unheard of)....


...I'm sure I could conjour up a few incidents from Action Park as well (but the one which stands out in my mind is the Kayak)


*From Wikipedia:

A week later, on August 1, a 27-year-old man from Long Island got out of his tipped kayak on the Kayak Experience to right it. He was electrocuted when he stepped on a grate that was either in contact with, or came too close to, a section of wiring for the underwater fans that was exposed. Several other members of his family nearby were also injured. He was taken to a hospital in nearby Warwick, New York where he died later of heart failure from the electric shock.[6][20] The park at first disputed that the electric current caused his death, saying there were no burns on his body, but the coroner responded that burns generally do not occur in a water-based electrocution.[6] The ride was drained and closed for the investigation. Accounts differed as to the extent of the exposed wiring: the park said it was "just a nick," while others said it was more like 8 inches (20 cm). The state's Labor Department found that the fan was properly maintained and installed and cleared the park of wrongdoing; however it also said the current had the possibility to cause bodily harm under certain circumstances.[20] While the park said it was vindicated, it never reopened the ride, saying people would be afraid to go on it afterwards.[6]

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How about the 13 year old boy getting partially decapitated on KD's old Galaxi?

Standing up on your own will usually isn't an accident.


Well, people were mentioning the Batman decapitation, and that was a result of stupidity too, as was the Shockwave incident. In my opinion at least. The death was the accident, not the stupidity.

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^ About 11 years ago a guy got drunk, wrestled himself halfway out of the restraints, and fell out near the end of the ride. He died of blunt force trauma.


He wasn't intoxicated,he was just stupid in his behavior while on the ride & sadly it cost him his life.I'm not entirely sure if the kid on galaxi was thrown from the car due to no restraint or if he stood up on his own(I never rode it when it was at KD) so I'm not sure about the seating arrangement or rstraint system of the ride but it's possible that the forces exerted by the ride could've ejected him from the car.

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I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Big Thunder accident at Disneyland from 2003. In one of the tunnels, the locomotive part of the train detached and rolled back into the rest of the train, killing one and injuring 10 others.

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While talking to a coworker today, I learned something interesting. She grew up in New Jersey, so I asked her if she'd ever been to Six Flags Great Adventure. She said she had been there once. I asked if she remembered the Haunted Castle and the fire in 1984. Turns out... she knew the kids who were killed in the fire! Her mom was actually engaged to one of the kid's dad! She said she wasn't allowed to go to the park because of that fire (the one time she went was before that tragedy).

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