Eleven people injured as inverted coaster derails at M&D's in Scotland

Posted Monday, June 27, 2016 8:00 AM | Contributed by BrettV

Police say eleven people have been injured in a rollercoaster crash at a theme park in Scotland. Visitors to M&Dā€™s amusement park in Motherwell, near Glasgow, posted images on social media appearing to show a carriage on a pathway surrounded by dozens of people. The injured ā€“ eight children and two adults ā€“ were taken to hospital following the incident.

Read more from The Guardian.

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Monday, June 27, 2016 8:02 AM

I'm trying to understand how a failure that catastrophic can even happen. Look at the photo of the entire wheel assembly apparently sheered off at the axle to the bogie.

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Monday, June 27, 2016 8:25 AM

I posted in the general forum before seeing the news post. But, I think it's a strong possibility that it was a maintenance issue. Considering at set of wheels fell off (one set that we know of), it seems likely that it was metal fatigue. Once the first set came off, there would have been more strain on the remaining wheels, possibly causing them to fail as well.

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Monday, June 27, 2016 9:59 AM

My thoughts were similar to Jeff's. My guesses were something like 1) No maintenance like ever, 2) Knock off parts were used, 3) Intentional sabotage. I don't see even one axle failure or two or three causing the whole train to come off like that.

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Monday, June 27, 2016 10:48 AM

Think about the suspended axle failure at... was it Six Flags Magic Mountain? The front of one car was hanging off, but the train didn't derail, and I don't recall any serious injuries. That photo of the wheels that came off really does look like the axle split. That doesn't spontaneously just happen, I wouldn't think. Any regular NDT would predict that.

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Monday, June 27, 2016 11:05 AM

The fact that is was a traveling coaster in South America makes me wonder if any NDT had ever been done.

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Monday, June 27, 2016 11:50 AM

MDOmnis said:

My thoughts were similar to Jeff's. My guesses were something like 1) No maintenance like ever, 2) Knock off parts were used, 3) Intentional sabotage. I don't see even one axle failure or two or three causing the whole train to come off like that.

Pinfari went bankrupt years ago. All parts would be third party at this stage.

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Monday, June 27, 2016 12:02 PM

Good point - I didn't know that to be honest. We all most likely have some third party parts on our cars if they are beyond the warranty period too, so I guess third party parts aren't necessarily a problem unless they don't meet or exceed the original specs. Arrow is gone too now too and there are still tons of their rides in operation so I am assuming someone else is making the parts.

I've just never seen such a catastrophic failure of a coaster train. It seems like something must've been suspect with maintenance performed or the parts used.

If I understand correctly, the ride had been at this park since 2004 so that it formerly traveled with a carnival is sort of irrelevant at this point. It's on M&D's if they've operated it for 12 years.

Last edited by MDOmnis, Monday, June 27, 2016 12:07 PM
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Monday, June 27, 2016 12:45 PM

I believe S&S is making most if not all of the replacement Arrow parts. They did buy the company after all.

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Monday, June 27, 2016 1:31 PM

Correct, you can still buy original Arrow parts through S&S.

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Monday, June 27, 2016 2:52 PM

MDOmnis said:

I've just never seen such a catastrophic failure of a coaster train. It seems like something must've been suspect with maintenance performed or the parts used.

If you look at the photos that are doing the rounds you'll see there's a fairly massive dent in one of the supports holding up the first drop. My guess would be that there was some failure that caused part of the train to collide with that support and the resulting impact (two tonnes of train hitting a solid object is bad) caused a cascade that failed everything else.

It's worth noting that the ride had a 90kg weight limit anyway suggesting that it wasn't overengineered to the degree that one expects from the major manufacturers.

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Monday, June 27, 2016 3:39 PM

Oh. Well, no chance of me getting killed on one of those then....

That might also suggest the train's little and the restraints are small.

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Monday, June 27, 2016 9:58 PM

I haven't seen any additional updates. Hopefully that means there haven't as yet been any deaths among the victims.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016 12:03 AM

One of the interviewed witnesses mentions the train "rolled off the track", which suggests that the track may have separated. That sounds much more plausible than all of the wheel assemblies breaking off. Maybe it rolled off at a transfer track that failed?

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016 2:42 AM

From the photo it looks to me like the train hit the ground at the curve near the bottom of the first drop. "Rolled off the track" sounds like what any witness would say.
I don't know how they do things in Scotland, (you'd think I would), but I'm sure the results of an investigation will tell us how and why this happened.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016 8:14 AM

Here's a round-up of the injuries:

http://www.glasgowlive.co.uk/news/glasgow-news/two-boys-serious-con...r-11534201

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016 11:25 AM

Encouraging to read that not only did all survive, it looks like everyone will hold on to their limbs as well. Not something I was expecting based on the images of the aftermath.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016 9:06 PM

Everyone's talking about wheels and maintenance and stuff and I'm just thinking....how did no one die? From what I read this occurred at the bottom of the first drop...how is no one dead?

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016 9:18 PM

I'd wager that it helped that it was an inverted coaster, as the riders had some metal above their heads to protect them.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016 9:23 PM

It landed on a round kiddie ride nearby. With kids on it. I think it's a valid question.

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