30 Biggest Theme Park Tragedies From Around The World

By Rylee 8 months ago

1. A Castle fire

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New Jersey's Haunted Castle at Six Flags Great Adventure was struck by disaster on May 11, 1984. When 29 adventurers were enjoying the ride, a fire broke out, killing eight people. Certain mistakes were identified. The ride did not install sprinkler systems that would have reduced the fire casualties, and most of the ride's materials were highly flammable.

2. A disastrous water ride

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A 10-year-old boy, Caleb Schwab, met his sudden demise in the most gruesome way imaginable. During a water ride in Verrückt Park, the son of a Kansas State representative was beheaded by a protective metal netting. When two women sat at the rear end of the raft, Caleb’s weight was unable to prevent his fatal leap.

3. The Nebraska rollercoaster accident

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It is recorded as the deadliest roller coaster accident in American history. It happened on July 24, 1930, at Krug's Park, Nebraska, when a loose bolt of the fair's rollercoaster led to the detachment of four occupied vehicles. They flew off the track and fell to the ground 35 feet below, killing four people and injuring seventeen others. Since then, no roller coasters have been allowed in Omaha city.

4. The London May accident

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In 1972, the world was appalled by one of the most disastrous accidents in a London rollercoaster. It was called the ‘big dipper,’ and it was one of the finest thrills in Battersea Park. On that unfortunate day on May 30th, the emergency brakes failed, and the cars were flung off the track, killing five children and injuring thirteen others. It was the final blow for the establishment.

5. The scalp-ripper

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An unfortunate accident met 11-year-old Elizabeth Gilreath at the King's Crown ride in Omaha, Nebraska. During the carnival ride, her hair was stuck in the rotary, and before the saviors came to her aid, her scalp had been ripped off from her head. It was a gruesome sight, and few believed she would survive. However, thanks to life-saving surgeries, she recovered from the ordeal.

6. The Australian Crush

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This deadly accident occurred in 2016 at the Thunder River rapids in Queensland, Australia. During the water ride, one of the pumps malfunctioned, leading to decreased water levels. This ultimately led to the collision of crafts, with one of them sinking. Four passengers were compressed in the ride's conveyor system and instantly died.

7. Edmonton mall accident

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The ‘Mindbender’ was the largest indoor roller coaster in the world before the 1986 accident. While some may agree it was not a good idea to construct a rollercoaster this huge inside a mall, it was later discovered that it was poorly designed and barely maintained. This led to a catastrophic accident in 1986 that led to the deaths of three passengers and one injured victim.

8. Tower of Power ride

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The chilling fall of 13-year-old Kaitlyn Lassiter remains etched in the minds of all who read the 2007 disaster. In Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom Superman: Tower of Power ride, one of the cables snapped and caught the girl's legs. It then dropped her 154 feet to the ground, breaking her legs. Although she did not die, Kaitlyn was left disabled for life.

9. Disney’s railroad rollercoaster

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Not many people know this accident happened because it involved one of the most powerful amusement parks in the world. Disneyland. On September 5, 2006, the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at the park did not work, and one of its lead cars swerved from the track. A boy, Marcelo Torres, was killed, and the story was muffled after Disney settled the family.

10. The Train fire

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Luna Park in Sydney, Australia, was hit by a catastrophe on June 9, 1979, when one of the amusement trains caught fire. To date, nobody has established the cause of the fire, with speculations running from deliberate arson to electrical faults. It was impossible to save all 35 people on the train because the fire was too wild. Seven people died in the incident, leaving the entire track in ashes.

11. Deadly twister ride

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What would have been a thrilling twister ride in Lightwater Valley, North Yorkshire, became a tragedy. A 7-year-old boy fell 30 feet from a rollercoaster. However, he was treated at the Leeds General Infirmary and recovered. Surprisingly, eighteen years before this incident, a student called Gemma Savage died after a collision of carriages on the same twister ride!

12. The Shenzhen tragedy

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The Shenzhen amusement park was one of the world's most popular and futuristic enjoyment centers before disaster struck. The park featured a space journey ride with spinning cars in a dome depicting films about space. However, in 2010, an electrical fault caused a fire in the dome. Six people died, and ten more were injured in this accident.

13. The Smiler Ride incident

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When visiting a park, the least outcome you could expect is getting disabled for life. Four teenagers had their legs amputated after the amusement train in Smiler Ride, Alton Towers, collided with a test car. Leah Washington, Daniel Thorpe, Vicky Balch, and Joe Pugh got lifetime injuries after an incident experts say was equivalent to a 90 mph car crash.

14. Fujin Raijin roller coaster

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Yoshino Kogowara would be the sole fatality of a roller coaster disaster in Osaka, Japan. On May 5, 2007, the carriage of the rollercoaster got stuck, and she was hauled off the vehicle, hitting her head on the guardrail. Investigators realized that the axle of the coaster had not been replaced for over fifteen years, and some members of staff were charged with professional negligence.

15. The Hydro water coaster

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The family of 16-year-old Hayley Williams watched in terror as their daughter fell from a hydro water coaster in Oakland, Wales, on April 15, 2004. The vehicle lost track and descended 100 feet below into the water, killing the girl instantly. Although her family has petitioned to have the park closed, the ride still runs today with maximum safety checks.

16. Matterhorn Bobsled accident

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There is no doubt that most of the accidents that happen in amusement parks are caused by deliberate violations of rules. In Disneyland, the famous Matterhorn Bobsled steel roller coaster is modeled after a mountain in the Swiss Alps. In 1964, a 15-year-old boy stood up when the ride was still in motion. He fell out and sustained injuries that later led to her death.

17. The Unfortunate Veteran

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James Hackemer survived the Iraq war but lost his legs during a bomb attack. Nobody would have expected that he would meet his demise at an amusement park. In July 2011, he fell from the ‘Ride of Steel’ at Darien Lake Park in New York. Being disabled, James should never have been allowed on the ride by the operators.

18. The Cyclone disasters

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The Cyclone rollercoaster has claimed three lives since its construction in 1927. Located in Coney Island, New York, it is impossible to imagine why the ride has never been closed. In 1985, a man died after striking his head on the crossbar. Three years later, another man fell from the coaster and died. Fast forward to 2007, a 53-year-old man snapped his neck in the same ride.

19. The accidents at King's Island park

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It was not a lucky day for adventurers at the King’s Island park in Ohio on June 9, 1991. In an unfortunate turn of events, a woman fell from the Flight Commander’s ride and died from the impact. It would surprise you to know that an hour earlier before this fall, two men died from electrocution while trying to save another man who fell into a pond at the park.

20. The Scotland Disaster

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An 18-year-old park worker in Loudoun Castle amusement park, Scotland, should have stayed at home during his day off. However, when he was strolling around the park, he saw that one of the cars at the Rat Ride had gotten stuck. In his attempt to fix it, the ride dragged him along, and he lost his grip. He fell 80 feet below and died in the accident.

21. The Georgia accidents

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The Batman ride in Cobb County, Georgia, killed two people within six years. In 2002, a man lost his life after getting hit by the dangling feet of passengers during a speedy ride. Rules demanded that no one should stand up when the ride was in session. However, in 2008, another boy was fatally injured by the same train for making a similar mistake.

22. Death at the Magic Harbor

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The name of the steel roller coaster itself inspires fear. The Black Witch. Located in Magic Harbor, the steel ride killed a 13-year-old girl by severing her head off. The accident roused anger in the public, and they called for the park to be closed. The South Carolina administration yielded to the demands and closed the park indefinitely.

23. The Ferris wheel disaster

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Operators in amusement parks need to be reminded that it is unsafe to allow people living with disabilities to take risky rides. In Gulliver's Theme Park, England, a 15-year-old girl fell from a spinning Ferris wheel. The girl was living with Down syndrome, and her mother insisted on being allowed to sit with her. However, park operators made her sit alone despite being vulnerable.

24. The Legoland accident

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The Xtreme Racer is a steel roller coaster in Legoland, Denmark. On April 29, 2007, a park employee sought to retrieve a guest's wallet. She climbed over the security fence, but the speeding ride vehicle ran over her. Although the park was closed briefly after the accident, it was later reopened when the case was cleared.

25. The Wooden roller coaster

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A wooden roller coaster is a big mistake! It is not stable enough to handle many people's weight and high speeds. Colossus was the largest wooden rollercoaster in the world before disaster struck in 1978 when an obese woman was hauled from its ride. The latch could not hold her firmly, and she died after the unfortunate descent.

26. The Rajin Cajun disaster

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Crossing the tracks of a roller coaster in motion does not sound like a good idea. In the Rajin Cajun ride in Maryland, a 52-year-old mechanic was struck by the ride's vehicle as he crossed the track. He did not survive the accident after admission at the Froedtert hospital due to severe head injuries.

27. The Wildcat roller coaster

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Mechanical malfunctions dread us whenever we visit amusement parks. One of these malfunctions hit ‘The Wildcat roller coaster’ in 1997 when a vehicle detached from the ride and rolled away, hitting another one. In the incident in Bell’s amusement park, a 14-year-old was killed, and six other people were injured.

28. The Terra Mitica accident

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An 18-year-old boy died in Terra Mitica amusement park in Spain after falling from a rollercoaster. The incident occurred in July 2014. When investigations began to establish the cause of death, it was discovered that the safety latch of the ride was open. Nobody, however, knew how it all happened, and no negligence charges were issued.

29. The Le Vampire roller coaster

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Employees in amusement parks are perhaps some of the most endangered people. In dealing with the mechanical faults of the rollercoasters, they could be fatally injured if anything goes wrong. In the Le Vampire roller coaster at the Le Ronde amusement park in Canada, a 67-year-old employee died after he struck his head on the ride suffering severe head damage.

30. The Little Fire Dragon

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The Lagoon Park in Utah is regarded as one of the safest amusement parks in the world. This is because ‘Puff the Little Fire Dragon’ is a very slow ride, and the chances of getting injured are low. However, in 1989, a six-year-old boy slid from the safety latch and fell on the track. Before he could get up, the train hit him on the head. He died instantly.