Horrific Amusement Park Injuries

The 10 Most Horrific Amusement Park Injuries of all Time

More than 290 million people enjoyed 1.7 billion rides when they visited amusement parks across the United States in 2010. For all the fear associated with rides, theme parks are extremely safe. According to the National Safety Council’s survey of conditions at parks, only 1,299 of those 290 million suffered injuries, many of which are minor.  Unfortunately, a few incidents have proven fatal over the years, for a variety of reasons.  Below are the 10 most horrific amusement park injuries of all time.

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Kaitlyn Lassiter needed Superman to rescue her when she was riding The Superman Tower of Power at Six Flags Kentucky.  On June 21, 2007 a cable broke on the ride, wrapping around her neck and legs.  She freed the cable from her neck, but it was still tight around her leg when the ride descended.  The cable severed her feet.  After this incident, the ride was removed from the park.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that a teenager fell from the New Jersey Lightin’ Loops Roller Coaster on June 17, 1987.  She was not strapped into her shoulder harness properly, and the girl plummeted to her death during the loop.

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A seven-year-old boy from Hope, Arkansas was riding the Sizzler at a local carnival with his mother.  Their chair did not lock properly before the ride began. The boy and his mother both fell out shortly after the Sizzler began moving.  The boy was hit in the head, but still managed to get up and try to get out of the way of the spiraling ride.  The boy was then struck in the head once again. He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead from traumatic brain injury.

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If you do not know, a “trebuchet” is a medieval engine of war with a sling for hurling missiles.  Oxford University scholars are known to be intelligent, so we are not sure what this young man was thinking.  The 19-year-old student from Bulgaria paid a “human trebuchet” operator to launch him 100 feet through the air and onto a safety net.  You probably know where this is going.  Yes, the human missle was launched short of the net and the young man died upon impact.  The operator was initially charged with manslaughter, however the charges were later dropped.

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In the spring of 2004, a 16-year old girl visited Oakwood Theme Park with her family.  She was riding Hydro, a water roller coaster, when she flew out of her car.  She was over 100 feet above the ground when she fell out of the car that was holding her.  She died of internal injuries.  After the accident the park was fined a significant sum of money when it was discovered that employees did not regularly check the bars and seat belts on the Hydro.  The ride is still in operation today, but is now renamed “Drenched.”

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On June 9, 1991, a young man fell into a pond near the German Beer Garden area of Kings Island amusement park.  His 20-year old friend and a 20-year-old park employee jumped in the water in an attempt to rescue him.  An electrical current ran through the water, and all three were electrocuted.  To this day, officials are still unsure of what caused the accident.  Even stranger, just hours later, a woman was killed after she fell from the ride “Flight Commander” at the park.  The ride was a “space-like capsule which the rider controls” where “a shoulder harness and lap bar hold passengers in their seat.”  After the accidents, the grounds of Kings Island have been rumored to be haunted.

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Action Park, located in New Jersey, was arguably the most unsafe and horrific amusement park in America.  Six people were killed while Action Park was in operation, which included three drowning’s, an electrocution and a heart attack allegedly caused by the frigid water temperature.  One man tragically died when he smashed his head on a rock, after the car he was riding disconnected from the Alpine Slide.  Eventually the park shut down for several years due to all of the lawsuits.  Action Park was eventually renamed Mountain Creek Park and reopened several years with a new emphasis on safety.

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Batman: The Ride allows thrill seeks to experience the streets of Gotham City and the Bat cave.  In June of 2008 a young man was riding the roller coaster and he unsurprisingly lost his hat, as the coaster reaches speeds of over 50 miles per hour.  Unfortunately, that was not all the young man lost that day.  In an effort to get his hat, he ignored signed that warn him of danger, and climbed to fences.  He wandered into the path of the ride, and became decapitated when a rider’s foot hit him in the head.  The young woman who hit the young man sued his estate, because she shattered her foot as a result decapitation.

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Battersea Park Fun Fair — established during the Festival of Britain in 1951 — was a very popular destination for family thrills. Its most famous ride was the Big Dipper, located on the park’s skyline.  The Duchess of Kent and her children took the Big Dipper in its opening year, while the Bolshoi Ballet climbed aboard in 1965.  Late in the afternoon of 30 May 1972, tragedy struck. Thirty-one people had boarded a three-car wooden train. As it reached the top of the first incline, it was detached from the drive chain. Despite the best efforts of the brake man, the train slipped backwards under its own momentum. At the bottom, it hit a tight turn and derailed. The lower carriage was crumpled by those behind. Two teenage boys and an eight-year-old girl died at the scene, and two other children died later.  Thirteen children in total were injured.

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Over thirty-five years ago, a day of fun turned into a day of terror and tragedy.  On May 11, 1984 a fire took the lives of eight teenagers trapped inside the Haunted Castle attraction.  The Haunted Castle was a popular attraction at Six Flags. It consisted of a series of darkened, twisting passages meant to confuse visitors and objects intended to scare those who ventured through the Haunted Castle. No one realized that the scariest part of this castle was that there were no smoke alarm or sprinkler systems.  The fire broke out shortly before 6:30 p.m., when a 14-year-old boy was using a lighter to find his way through the attraction.  The boy “apparently continued through the Castle” without notifying anyone of the problem.  Roughly 30 people were in the attraction when the fire began. Some encountered smoke and immediately headed for exits, while others thought it was a Haunted Castle effect; one group of visitors apparently saw the fire in its incipient stage and “remarked how real the illusion seemed.” The foam-covered walls ignited, and the fire, fueled by the plywood and other materials, spread rapidly.  Two volunteer fire companies arrived shortly before 7 p.m. and were unable to advance into the structure, which was rapidly being consumed. “In 20 minutes, the building looked burned down,” one park visitor told reporters. “There was nothing there.” When the fire was declared under control, at 7:45 p.m., 15 mutual aid companies had responded with 300 firefighters. Eight teenagers, ranging in age from 15 to 19 were found dead from inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning.

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