Five killed in Korean Ferris wheel accident

Posted Monday, August 13, 2007 5:43 PM | Contributed by Juggalotus

Five family members fell to their deaths from a Ferris wheel after the car they were riding in unexpectedly overturned Monday at an amusement park in the southern city of Busan, police said. Four people, including a 68-year-old woman and a 7-year-old boy, died at the scene after they fell 65 feet, police said. A 28-year-old woman who was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment died later, police said.

Read more from AP via MSNBC.

Monday, August 13, 2007 6:02 PM
On no--another horrible accident. I'm sorry that something like this happened :( What I would like to know is HOW this happened. Most ferris wheel gondolas have their center of gravity low in the car, correct? How could a car all of a sudden turn upside down?

Perhaps something got stuck and didn't allow it to swing, thus moving "with" the wheel. But even if that were the case, it would have turned over higher up than 65 ft, right? Is this some newer sort of ferris wheel that maybe works somewhat differently than normal ones? Very strange and sad, indeed.

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Monday, August 13, 2007 8:34 PM
Jeff's avatar A lot of larger wheels also have a brake that keeps the gondola from swinging at all when it's parked. CP's comes to mind first, but I know I've seen others.
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Monday, August 13, 2007 11:12 PM
beast7369's avatar With the design of that particular wheel I am having a hard time grasping how this happened? I just can't seem to come up with how mechanically this could have happened. The only thing I think that is plausible at the moment is a failure of the braking mechanism in such a way that it did not release so that the car would be "free-wheeling", but at the height that the gondola was there is no way that it should have been upside-down yet (maybe at the top of the wheel). I can see that if pressure was applied to the plexi windows that wheel appeared to have that one of the might have popped out or broke thus allowing passengers who didnt realize what was happening and not holding on because of that to fall through to their death.
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Monday, August 13, 2007 11:21 PM
What is going on in the picture? It looks like there is one car on its side and another like above it. What's that other red car-looking thing at the top? None of the cars fell off did they?
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Monday, August 13, 2007 11:34 PM
According to various european news one (or two) of the cabins fell off the wheel and landed on another car. While this happened a door opened and the family fell out.
Here is a link with three pictures from a swiss news magazine.

http://www.blick.ch/news/ausland/artikel69013

It happened on a travelling fair and not at a permanent amusement park.

This year is going down in history as one of the worst for ride related catastrophies.

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Monday, August 13, 2007 11:39 PM
Ok, that makes way more sense. I could've sworn that AP photo showed a car laying on top of another. So, it looks like the one that fell made the other one rotate and knock out the family.
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Tuesday, August 14, 2007 9:49 AM
Here's another link also stating the door opened. The doors are to the side, so even if they did open, I don't understand how anyone could have fallen out. From the photo it doesn't look like the glass fell out either.

http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200708/200708140016.html
*** This post was edited by Jeffrey Seifert 8/14/2007 10:11:22 AM ***

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007 10:32 AM
Sad day, I used to work for that guy, and if he bothered to pay people he may not be looking at this mess today, the polish boys who build and run this machine for him don't like not being paid which they haven't for over a month and having seen this situation at first hand they easily swap maitenance for vodka. I left with him owing me money now I'm happy to have got away with my life and very sad for 5 people I didn't know........ The wheel is built in Europe by Ronald Bussink, from memory its a dutch machine but they have been used in the UK in the past, its the same design as the PARIS Wheel that visited Birmingham.

I wasn't there but looking at the pictures it looks fairly clear cut. The wheel travels in an anti-clockwise direction, with none of the cars falling from the wheel. At the 3 o'clock position the top car, locks in line with the outside framework of the wheel, the following car is fine until the descent when its nutural position is blocked by the first cars fixed position. As the second car is on a pivot it moves with the 'cam effect' of the first car(the bottom car in the picture) and finds itself in that very strange looking position. The windows are of one piece quick release design used for fire evac, and not designed to be landed on by a family of five, it probably gave way in one pieceon the descent. Its a sad day but thought you may appreciate the inside track BTW the guy who runs it is Billy Stevens......

*** This post was edited by 8/15/2007 4:03:11 AM ***

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007 10:42 AM
The doors open on a manual syatem, which can only be operated from the outside, and this has a secondary quick release lock, so for a door failure would have been a sucession of human negligence on loading.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007 3:00 PM
This sucks.

Thoughts and prayers to all those involved.

I've always been afraid of Ferris Wheels, largely because I've believed that it had an accident, you'd have way too much time to think before impact.

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