Gas released at Chessington World of Adventures, guest hospitalized

Posted Friday, November 1, 2002 4:56 AM | Contributed by astrosgp

Three teenage girls including an 18-year-old asthma sufferer were taken to hospital on Thursday, after a canister of gas was left off at Chessington World of Adventures. A further 20 visitors to the Surrey theme park were taken to its treatment centre after they came into contact with the gas.

Read more form the BBC.

Friday, November 1, 2002 7:11 AM
Tear gas in a queue. Sounds like either an accident with one of those personal tear gas things or a nut.
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Friday, November 1, 2002 8:44 AM

A funny thing is if it was tear gas how on earth did someone manage to bring it into the park?

As we all know here in the states there's no way that anyone would be able to get through the tight security procedures used at the parks upon entering the main gate,another question is why would anyone want to even bring a substance such as tear gas into a park in the first place?

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Friday, November 1, 2002 8:58 AM

There's no security in Europe.
No metal-detectors, no scanners, nothing...

Just some security-guards walking around in the parks.

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Friday, November 1, 2002 9:07 AM

Batwing, I don't know what parks you've been to but I bet I could get a weapon into any of the big three Ohio parks. The security at most amusement parks has to do with the park not getting ripped off, not your safety.

They don't want anyone getting in for free and they want you to buy their food and drink.

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Friday, November 1, 2002 9:46 AM
What the world is coming to........

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#1 Steel-Nitro
#1 Wood-Shivering Timbers

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Friday, November 1, 2002 9:57 AM
I dunno wahoo skipper, Kennywood has pretty gosh darn good security at the gates. They search everything with walk thru detectors, wands, and handsearch bags. Wasn't Kennywood one of the 1st to do this sort of thing?
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Friday, November 1, 2002 10:26 AM
Batwing - I would not be bragging too much about security at parks in the USA. Much of it is 'feel good' window dressing.

That security screaning you get on your way into a MAJOR theme park chain is pretty much a joke. I've taken my camera bag through the metal detectors at two different parks of that MAJOR chain now and not to my surprise the detector's alarm sounded, but upon showing the attendant that the bag contained a videocamera, they waved me on without further inspection.

Then there was the security checkpoint at another chains park which made good work of searching any carry in bags, but did not utilize metal detectors or otherwise search the pockets of guests.

Then there is are the numerous parks that don't have an active front gate security checkpoint. (and some that don't even have a front gate)

What I am really getting at is, those who are insinuating that Chessington's park security was lax, or that for some magical reason American theme parks are so much better for security, are being unrealistic.

As I understand it, we are talking about a vial of a 'self-defense-spray' product, something that can easily be placed at the bottom of a purse or backpack, doesn't take up much room, and would most likely be missed by all but a very throrough security inspeciton. Once they get it through the gate, there is little else to stop them between the gate and the dark ride car unless they were to take it out of its pouch prematurely.

While I admit the thought of somebody releasing a chemical weapon in a queue at an amusement park or anyother densely populated group of people is frightening, I don't really see how the park could have prevented it short of dumping out and peering through the contents of every bag and purse that goes into the park, as well as frisking every guest. I'm afraid that the paying amusement park loving public won't hold still for that. Not to mention the fact that some parks would have to do extensive renovations to secure the boundaries of the supposed secure areas.

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That said: My sympathy and get-well wishes to the victims of this senseless act. Innocent people who did nothing except decide to go on an amusement park attraction.


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David Bowers
Mayor, Coasterville *** This post was edited by Coasterville Dave on 11/1/2002. ***

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Friday, November 1, 2002 10:51 AM
Security at Chessington and at the other Tussards Parks is Awful, infact compared with the security methods employed at nearly all american parks since September 11, You could call it shocking.

No Parks have metal Detectors, No Parks have people searching your bags, You could very esily slip a weapon of some kind into your pocket and get in the park very easily or slip a canister of gas into the park like what happened here. I have literally just walked upto the entrance, showed my season pass, and I'm in, and this was not the case when I went to California with the ECC, at pretty much every park, we had to go through Metal Detectors and even have people searching ours bags etc.
It will be interesting to see if Security is stepped up now after this incident, however I dought it will somehow???

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Friday, November 1, 2002 10:53 AM

My dad has always carried a pocket knife, and always will. We once went to a park with the security measures and all of that, and they found the knife, and he got some flack for it, no big deal, but it was a hassle.

Now at parks he just takes a few simple steps, and he gets through the gates with it everytime without any incident. Its not exactly a secret that if you want to, you can probably get just about anything into an amusement park. Its not hard or anything.

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If the shoe fits, find another one.

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Friday, November 1, 2002 1:19 PM

I'm not going to lie, it may not be hard to do this sort of thing at some parks around here. (Assuming, of course, someone did this on purpose. I don't want to jump to conclusions and say that's certainly the case.)

But about the metal detectors at Six Flags (more appropriately, SFGAm), I have my camera with me all the time when I head up there (that'd be about 10-12 times this year), and every time I pass it to the security guard through the detectors at the gate, it sets the detectors off. I actually do feel a bit more secure.

Of course, I've never actually worried about that sort of thing at the metal detector-less parks (CP), and I really don't want to have to.

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"Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation." - David St. Hubbins, Spinal Tap
http://www.loopscrew.com

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Sunday, November 3, 2002 8:17 AM
If anything, I think park security is to heavy. I really don't think that many people try to bring weapons into parks. Likewise, my father has a pocketknife and they took it from him and gave him a claim ticket. Let's say our day wasn't as good as it could have been...Why make a hassle with all of this extra security. If someone REALLY wanted to bring a weapon into a park, they could. Why waste my time? Either search EVERYTHING, or search nothing.

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How many rides must a man go on, before you may call him a fan?

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Monday, November 4, 2002 3:44 AM

My, the whole root of the response to this incident has been pinned soley on park security. It's pretty hard for any secruity force to prevent something they don't forsee happening, especially when the contraband item is small enough that there is no outward clue that something is going to happen. Im not sure what the laws are in the UK regarding tear gas, or, what Chessington's policy is, but perhaps it could have been a case where the suspect did nothing illegal until they committed the act of endangring the health and safety of their fellow park guests.

The only way this could have probably been prevented is is theme parks were to suddenly install security checkpoints that make airports seem lax. That's just not going to happen, besides there are so many loopholes. Contraband item smuggled in by an employee, contraband introduced to the park through a fence or some other weakspot in the perimeter.

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David Bowers
Mayor, Coasterville

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