10 Things: That Could Go Wrong
On Saturday, a bolt came loose on The Smiler. Fortunately, no one was hurt; but it begs the question: what else could go wrong?
- Your health could play up, many people suffer heart attacks and epileptic fits while on roller coasters. Alternatively, the force of a ride could cause your body damage: for example the 12 year old girl who broke both her wrists on Rita at Alton Towers.
- The ride may break and crash. On The Big Dipper at Battersea Funfair, a train became detached from the lift mechanism, rolling back and crashing into a car still in the station. Or The Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, the breaking mechanism failed causing a collision. And even the Runaway Train at Alton Towers, where the train split into two parts, which the collided.
- There may be a bit of track missing. The Turbo Coaster at Brighton Pier had eight passengers riding it, despite the fact a 16ft section of track had been removed for maintenance. Fortunately, the operator stopped the car before it reached this section. Brighton Pier was fined over £30,000 for failing to ensure visitor safety.
- A deer might wander on the track, as happened in Lightwater Valley’s: The Ultimate. The ride car slammed into the innocent deer that had walked onto the tracks. A young boy was taken to hospital as a result but fortunately recovered. The deer, on the other hand, did not.
- There might be a fire: as has happened twice in Thorpe Park. A stray cigarette caused the past ride Mr Rabbit’s Tropical Travels to set ablaze and an unknown cause set Saw: Alive on fire.
- The power could cut, leaving you stuck in a ride (or even upside down). Chessington World of Adventures is particularly guilty of suffering power failures, with guests being stuck above the lion enclosure on Safari Skyway (reports even suggested the cages were locked electrically, and there was a risk of the animals escaping).
- You might fall either from a ride car, a Ferris wheel, a high walkway… the possibilities are endless.
- There could be a lack of water, as happened on the Jungle River Log Flume at Bridlington Bayside Fun Park, when the car stopped due to shallowness, throwing a passenger out the car.
- You might wander onto the track. Sadly, many workers at theme parks have been killed or injured by walking onto tracks. It reminds us of the importance of training and safety procedures at all parks.
- A poncho could be blown onto the tracks, as happened in Flamingo Land on Mumbo Jumbo. The poncho caused the ride to stop, leaving two women dangling upside down for twenty minutes. They were safely removed and were okay.
About: Michael Mander
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