Top 10 Amusement Park Disasters
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Top 10 Amusement Park Disasters
Amusement parks are the go-to places for thrill-seekers around the world. Most of the time, they get just that.
But things can also go south real quick.
Though quite rare, amusement parks have seen their fair share of mishaps over the years. And these accidents haven’t just left the victims with a jaded view of these fun places. Some have ended up either with severe injuries, for instance, a young girl got both of her legs chopped off.
Even worse, several people have lost their lives in these parks.
In today’s video, we’ll be looking at 10 of these unfortunate events that turned the happy places into sad ones. Ready? Let’s ride!
#10 M&D’s Scotland’s Theme Park, Motherwell Scotland
M&D’s theme park prided itself as having Scotland’s only inverted roller coaster. It was nicknamed the Tsunami and thrill lovers rode under the track instead of the top.
But as of today, the ride is scrapped from the park’s attraction list following an incident in mid-2016.
Five gondolas derailed at a bend and plunged directly into the ground below. About nine people were enjoying the ride with the majority of them being kids. Fortunately, no one was killed in the incident but it left several people with injuries.
Nine people had to be hospitalized after the accident with two cases being the most notable. One was an 11-year-old boy who had sustained grievous injuries on his hands and legs. The other was a 12-year-old boy with leg, chest, and abdominal injuries.
The incident had a major effect on the park prompting the owners to halt all outdoor rides for about a month. Of course, activity picked up after this period but the Tsunami ride was never reopened, subsequently being dismantled early the following year.
In 2019, the park was fined 65,000 pounds after the owners pleaded guilty to flaunting health and safety guidelines. That was after an investigation found that the welding and axle metals on the doomed Tsunami were incompatible.
#9 Six Flags Great Adventure And Safari, New Jersey the US
The tragedy at Six Flags Great Adventure and Safari is a bit unique since it didn’t involve a roller coaster. But it was a horrific one at that.
On May 11, 1984, the park’s Haunted Castle burst into flames and in essence, gave the visitors a dosage of real horror. The general structure of the building made matters worse.
According to a New York Times account of the incident, the castle was devoid of fire safety measures like sprinklers and smoke alarms. And to top it all off, the inside was a narrow maze of aluminum trailers that were hardly lit.
So when the building went ablaze, getting out was a major problem. A few survivors recount being confused at the time the fire was breaking out about whether or not the smoke was part of the act. While some got out, others weren’t so lucky.
Despite firefighters being called on the scene immediately, the fire had engulfed much of the building due to, according to the police, strong winds that were blowing through the castle.
After several hours of battle, the fire was brought under control and the full extent of its damage was revealed. Eight people – seven boys and a girl – had burned beyond recognition.
#8 Gulliver’s World, Warrington England
Salma Saleem met her death in July 2002 in Gulliver’s World Theme Park. The then 15-year-old had Down’s syndrome suffered the fate after falling about 6 meters from the Ferris Wheel.
According to charges against the park, Salma had wanted to ride with her mom but an attendant refused to grant her wish on the basis that she was too big. The mum couldn’t put up a good enough protest since her English wasn’t as fluent.
Of course, charges were pressed against the park but not in relation to Salma’s death since her lap bar was still securely locked after the incident. The prosecutor acknowledged that indeed the death wasn’t as a result of the Gulliver’s World flaunting health and safety directives.
But a closer look at the facility uncovered a host of other issues that could have very well lead to such an incident in the future. For instance, the locks had no proper lubrication and were only replaced once broken instead of being checked regularly for wear and tear.
The firm in charge of managing the park paid a total of £80,000 for failing to ensure a visitor’s safety and for not enacting risk assessment measures. They also paid an additional £90,000 in court costs.