I remember this incident all too well. We were living in Northern Jersey at the time, and had been trying to convince mom to take us (dad was all for it, but was doing the "avoid an argument" thing ;) ). This fire destroyed any chance of going at the time.
I seem to remember the fire was due to the nasty combination of flammable foam rubber in the house, and kids using lighters to try to see where they were going.
I remember hearing about this when it first happened. Truly tragic. I visited the website, and he's got a lot of info I've never heard before. I'd be interested in seeing the video, but its pricey for 30 minutes (I believe).
Good 'ol rcdb says '77 is correct. Although I wasn't alive at the time this occurred, I'm sure it wasn't "covered up". I bet it got plenty of media attention in its day, but why would it still be talked about over 20 years later? It's not a cover up, it's just things running their course and fading away...
Oooooh... conspiracy. Wait for part two of this documentary series - "How Great White Conspired to Kill 100 of Their Own Fans in Rhode Island."
I think after reading the ebay listing, I have no need to purchase the video. Learn how to write a teaser, man!
I'm not shocked that death traps go unnoticed, nor am I shocked that large corporations would want to cover up their mistakes. Then again, I used to work for Arthur Andersen.
Furthermore (oh, I'm not done yet), I'm curious as to how Six Flags has dishonored and/or exploited the memory of the eight people who died. And seriously, how exactly should a park commemorate the deaths of eight patrons? A big sign?
Still not buying the video. I need an intern to give me a summary. Accepting applications via e-mail... *** Edited 1/29/2004 3:28:16 AM UTC by Olsor***
I think the "cover-up" aspect involves the steps taken to prevent people from using the *emergency exits* to go out back and light up, and also to protect "the Phantom" area from vandalism, and to protect the live actors from harm.
There may, or may not, have been chains on a couple of emergency exits (one from each side if I understand correctly), as well as the fence surrounding the Phantom area, which prevented people in the house from getting out of the burning building. I do have to admit *wondering* about sprinkler systems and emergency evacuation lights which (these days at least) are supposed to come on immediately when a fire breaks out...
HUGE mistakes were made....and I'm kinda surprised fire investigators THEN didn't clearly resolve some of those issues. Building codes now sure are considerably more stringent, thankfully.
Way back, this was big news in NJ (as GregLeg pointed out). This, combined with a stabbing at the park and the death of a Lightning Loops rider, gave the park the horrible reputation that it had to endure for years. A rep that, some would argue, the park endures to this day, despite two decades' worth of improvements.
As much as the park would have liked to have covered this one up, it was too big. I believe that it was not too long after this that a lot of haunted houses in NJ started to disappear. I can think of one on Morey's Pier that was supposedly quite excellent.
Sad, maybee GA's negligence helped lead to the removal of many dark rides. But, who knows, in todays society of hooligan teens overrunning some parks and every body being sue happy, they probably would have started vanishing anyway.
So the video came yesterday and I watched it. Some very interesting facts and what not. Sound was a little messed up but I found it very interesting. They had a neat 3d replica of the castle and it showed what happen and how it happen. Anyone wants to buy it from me for $15 let me know. Its not bad at all and highly interesting!