• 26 Oct 2022

Man falls from Rollercoaster

A situation of nightmares comes true at Oakwood Theme Park in Wales on Sunday the 23rd October 2022. Riders of a rollercoaster heard "horrific screams" as a man and his teenage daughter held on for their lives after their support bars failed leaving them dangling from the carriage.

Eye-witnesses said that the man fell to the ground with a "bang" and that his daughter was only saved from falling from the 26ft rollercoaster due to riders in another carriage.

Aaron McCalmon, 47, said he had been waiting to go on the ride with his own daughter when the incident happened, he said " We had previously been turned away from the ride because it was being checked by engineers. This was our second attempt to go on the ride. The first time they were working on that exact carriage and they said to come back".

A spokesperson for the Health and Safety Executive said it is investigating the incident and that a man was airlifted to hospital by the Wales Air Ambulance. “We need to find out what, if anything, has happened at Oakwood Theme Park, and we need to establish if there is a work-related element involved.

Accidents at theme parks are exceptionally horrifying. Everyone can identify with being on rides and rollercoasters, therefore when an accident does occur it sends shockwaves throughout the community, Nation or even World-Wide.

Shockingly, there was another incident at Oakwood Theme Park. In 2004, 16-year-old Hayley Williams died after she fell 100ft from a ride called the Hydro. An inquest into her death in 2006 heard evidence from a mechanical engineer who said the safety of the ride was "unacceptable" after tests revealed he was able to get out of Hayley's seat unaided even after pulling the bar down.

In 2015, the UK was rocked after a carriage on the Smiler (Alton Towers) collided with an empty test train, leaving a number of riders with serious, life changing injuries. It was found that management overrode safety warnings, as they were unaware of the stuck carriage.

In 2017, the Tsunami ride derailed and plunged 17ft to the ground at M&D’s in Strathclyde Park, Scotland leaving ten people aged between 11 and 19 seriously injured. M&D Leisure was fined £65,000 for failing to ensure the Tsunami roller coaster was maintained in an efficient state. Victims of the horror secured £1.2million in damages.

On Sept. 28, 2019, visitors to an amusement park in Mexico City looked on in horror as a carriage of a rollercoaster broke loose and crashed to the ground 30 feet below. Two men both died instantly from head injuries. Two women were hospitalised, and six others were treated at the scene. Investigations into the accident showed that a mechanical failure caused the carriage to come loose and the incident was treated as a case of negligent homicide.

The latest tragic amusement park accident happened at ICON Park on March 24, 2022, when a 14-year-old boy fell to his death while riding the Orlando FreeFall. The boy fell out of his seat due to a locking bar malfunction that is still being investigated.

The accidents above are just a few of the horrendous incidents that have happened in the UK and World-Wide. There are roughly 30,000 amusement park-related injuries each year. These incidents range from bruising and cuts to serious injuries or fatalities. Many of these accidents are due to mechanical failure or poor maintenance.

Regularly reviewing machinery and equipment as part of a preventative maintenance and safety regime will help spot hazards and ensure equipment is maintained in safe working order. Inspections ensure that engineers can take action before faults cause minor injury, serious harm or death.

TakeAIM is a safety inspection and maintenance APP (free on both GooglePlay and App Store) which enables companies to complete inspections of absolutely ANY equipment type. Coupled with a web platform, TakeAIM provides analysis, visibility and insights to help companies manage workplace equipment. Each inspection is automatically sent to management via wifi (inspections can be completed without wifi - once connection is re-established) with the ability to attach photos or annotations to provide additional information on faults or advisories found.

The web platform also hosts a maintenance log which allows you to easily monitor the time taken to resolve issues, keep track of who is responsible and even keep a record of replacement parts ordered. Registering an account takes a minute, plus you'll have access to the system for 7 days completely free (no credit card details required). If you find TakeAIM useful and wish to stay with us after the 7 day free trial, the good news is that TakeAIM is a pay as you go system - there's no monthly contract and credit bundles start at an amazing £6.25 for 25 inspections. Click here to view all our pricing bundles.

Our customers have used the TakeAIM for completing all manner of obscure equipment inspections (from snow mobiles to wacker plates) as a result of how easy it is to create their own checklists. At the time of writing we have not had anyone created a checklist for a rollercoaster but based on the above information, maybe it is about time some of the theme parks around the world considered adding our TakeAIM app to their management tools

Read the HSE press story
Read the Yahoo story

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