When visiting a theme park, you expect your family to be safe. After all, you are spending hundreds of dollars for a day, week, or more of entertainment. Safety is the least of what you deserve when going on vacation. However, even this basic need is sometimes not met. The year 2015 has shown us that it is not always fun and games, and teaches us what happens when our favorite attractions go awry. The following are our top picks for theme park accidents in 2015.
At a theme park in France, the cable on a slingshot ride snaps off, sending riders careening into the side of a support column. Though only minor injuries were reported, the incident was caught on camera. A local newspaper reported a factor defect in the elastic band was cause for the malfunction. This accident is eerily similar to another accident that occurred in Wisconsin.
This other incident, also captured on camera, shows a pair of riders waiting patiently for the ride to start. Suddenly, one of the elastic bands meant to keep them in place snaps. Though no injuries were reported as the ride had not started yet, this incident shows how dangerous these slingshot rides can be when not properly maintained or inspected.
4 Injured on Popular London Roller Coaster
In June, at the Alton Towers amusement park just outside of London, four more people were seriously injured in an accident. A car filled with thrill-seekers slammed into a parked, empty car on the tracks. The roller coaster, known as “The Smiler,” normally monitors the ride with sophisticated computer systems to prevent these sorts of accidents. However, something went wrong, resulting in the incident that left riders with serious injuries.
Adding to the tragedy was the forced shut-down of the ride soon after the accident. This left sixteen riders dangling for four-and-a-half hours until crews could finally retrieve them.
Patron Struck and Killed at Cedar Point
At the famed Cedar Point amusement park, a rider was struck and killed by one of the roller coasters. The rider, according to witnesses, had lost some of his belongings shortly after riding the Raptor. Disregarding safety notices, the passenger went into a restricted area to retrieve his belongings. He failed to notice another car heading his way and was killed as a result. The accident, in this case, serves as a reminder for patrons to heed safety notices and to not venture into restricted areas of theme parks, especially where rides are in operation.
Formosa Fun Coast
This last accident is the deadliest on this list and reminds us that when traveling abroad, safety procedures might not be a stringent as we are used to. In Taipei, Taiwan, hundreds of visitors were enjoying themselves at a popular celebration in the park. The party involved the use of colored powders to provide dazzling light shows. A stash of this powder, however, erupted in a deadly blast. The resulting destruction left nine people dead, and over three hundred injured. The park has since been shut down pending an investigation.
Be Safe, Know Your Rights
Although theme park accidents are rare, they do happen. When these accidents happen, a friendly and welcoming environment can suddenly become cold and distant. You deserve to be safe when on vacation, and should not be held victim to a “buyer beware” mentality.
If you have been injured while enjoying the facilities at any theme park, do not sign anything, take photographs of the scene of the incident and get names and contact information of any witnesses. Talk to a lawyer and make sure your rights are protected.theme parks