Girl loses feet on drop tower accident at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom

Posted Thursday, June 21, 2007 11:07 PM | Contributed by KICoasterDude

Police confirmed that a 13-year-old girl's feet have been cut off at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom. Officials said they got the call around 5 p.m. Thursday and both her feet were detached at the ankle. Eyewitnesses say the cable of the drop tower broke and struck the child.

Read more from WLKY/Louisville via MSNBC.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007 11:10 PM
I have to say that this is the thing that I never considered in terms of drop tower rides, especially those magnetically braked. I've always felt they were safe beyond a doubt, but never thought much about what would happen with a broken cable. It's the thing that scares me about any ride that uses a cable to drive the vehicle.
Thursday, June 21, 2007 11:27 PM
I am wondering if they inspect the cables everyday like they do on coasters that use steel cables.

Also why isnt there some kind of emergency stop on the ride that stops the ride when a cable breaks?

Thursday, June 21, 2007 11:28 PM
That's truly tragic.

I've never really be concerned with the descent on such a drop ride; I've always been more worried about the ascent. It seems there's much more opportunity for failure during the ascent.

Was this an Intamin freefall tower? Any information about similar rides throughout the industry being shut down?

Thursday, June 21, 2007 11:31 PM
There's nothing to stop. The cable on that kind of drop tower has a "grabber" on the end that pulls the car up and then releases it. It's slowed to a stop at the bottom with magnets. Then the grabber comes back down on the cable and connects to the car to bring it back up.

The question is, and you could apply this to S&S towers or Intamin launchers or cable lift rides, what happens when that cable under tension suddenly breaks and snaps? It has to go somewhere. If the results on Kingda Ka's incident are any indication, I'd hate to be in the path of those things.

Thursday, June 21, 2007 11:35 PM
I thought S&S Towers were entirely pneumatic? I wonder how "failsafe" they are.

I wonder what options even exist for protecting passengers on such a ride from a broken cable. This incident is rather sobering, I think, especially considering the severity. :(

Thursday, June 21, 2007 11:39 PM
Is their any cable attached to the bottom of the carriage as well like Power Tower, I've never inspected closely enough. Perhaps that could be the one that snapped as well. I'm glad this thread is much more mature, I hate to see things like this.

Ironic that this happened after they changed it's name.

Thursday, June 21, 2007 11:42 PM
Seems like once a week now we're hearing about some form of incident at a park. This is nearly as bad as it gets. Hopefulliy the girl does recover, physically if possible (can they even reattach?), and also mentally.

On a side note, didn't Mythbusters 'bust' a myth that claimed that a cable in tension, if snapped, can cut a person in half? If I recall correctly, they couldn't seem to even cut the pig carcass at all.

Thursday, June 21, 2007 11:43 PM
Yeah but I dont really know if the mythbusters had the cable under enough tension.

Also I think it was more of pulled her feet off not cut them off.*** This post was edited by majortom1981 6/21/2007 11:44:08 PM ***

Thursday, June 21, 2007 11:48 PM
I'm thinking a cable would cause a "clean" cut, if that is what has occurred. Kentucky has some awesome medical facilities, so I'm thinking it may be possible for reattachment.

Of course, I have no idea and no more information than anyone else. But I can hope.

Friday, June 22, 2007 12:05 AM
Are we sure that the brakes are magnetic? Is it possible that the broken cable was part of the braking mechanism and the car came down on the unfortunate girl's feet? I just find it hard to believe that the cable would snap and do that kind of damage to both feet...

Of course, I'm far from an expert.

My thoughts and prayers go out to that girl. I really hope she makes a speedy recovery.

Friday, June 22, 2007 12:16 AM

Besides the death of a person on a ride, this has to be the most horrific accident I have heard of in recent memory.

As others have said, it makes you wonder about other rides that rely on cables to move vehicles (or trains).

I am now thinking about the Deja-Vu coasters. That coaster strictly depends on cables and catch wagons to move the train. You can visibly see the cable pulling the train up the first tower. If that cable snapped, I could imagine alot of injuries.

Friday, June 22, 2007 12:18 AM
Yeah, we're pretty sure that the brakes are magnetic.

Tragic event. I hope for the best for the young girl.

I'm wondering if the cable was moving with such force as to severe the feet in that way or if they wrapped around her feet and cut/pulled the feet off as the car was descending.

Friday, June 22, 2007 12:50 AM
This truly is a sad horrible story. If Louisville in fact does have one of the leading medical centers for limb reattachment, then I hope this girl will be able to make a full recovery.

Does Intamin even have a worst case scenario that involves this type of accident? How could anyone even think of this type of incident ever taking place?

This will probably shutdown the their (Intamin) freefall towers until further notice, or at least it should. If this happened now, it will, or could happen again.

Friday, June 22, 2007 12:55 AM
It scares the heck out of me that just yesterday I was at SFNE and I heard one of the cables for the Scream ride make kind of like a rubbing sound.( I kidd you not) It was a sound I have never heard before on any ride. I almost said something, but didn't. I certainly would have after this took place.

Does anyone know what backup system MF has if that cable breaks? My thoughts and prayers go out to the girl and her family.

Friday, June 22, 2007 1:08 AM
This is a very frightening thing for me. I really can't imagine how much pain she was in, or if not, will be in.
(When I cut my thumb in half, it didn't hurt very bad at all, from shock I guess.)
It's such a gruesome thing though, I'm just bewildered at how this could happen. This girl is definitely in my thoughts, and I hope for the best for her.

Also, "I thought S&S Towers were entirely pneumatic?"

Not really sure what your asking, but I'm pretty sure it is cables, which are pulled up and down with pneumatics.

Friday, June 22, 2007 1:09 AM
MF has Anti Rollbacks on the hill I believe, you can see them on the hill.

Thanks for clarifying on the cables NascarLvr, it's appreciated.

This is just a freak accident, and I'm not sure if we will ever know definitively what happened.

Friday, June 22, 2007 1:21 AM
I found out that this had happened from a phone call from my dad while at Cedar Point. He called my cell just before we loaded onto Power Tower! Freaky.........

This is really sad. I can't even imagine me being on S:TOP and this happening. Just think, you are 150+ft. in the air and suddenly a cable raps around you! And I ride this all the time, SFKK and HW are my home parks. I'm afraid we may be seeing a removal of a great ride from a bad rep. and large lawsuit. SFKK was doing so well this year too........

Could this possibly happen on the 3rd Generation Intamin Freefalls? I always wondered why the seats were moved out so far from the actual tower, maybe this was a safety precaution?

Well, my prayers go out to that girl and her family, I deeply hope they can reattach her legs and she can once again live a normal life.

Friday, June 22, 2007 1:36 AM
TayTay, I do realize there are cables that attach the car and a pneumatic system that provides the "power." My question is more concerning devices used to stop the car. Intamin freefall towers utilize magnetics. I'm curious if the S&S Towers rely totally on pneumatic systems, or if they also employ magnetics, if even as a backup.
Friday, June 22, 2007 1:59 AM
This is horrible. My heart goes out to the girl and the family.

I just got home, we left the park at 6pm, I was on the ride 2 times around 4pm. We knew something happened but I was hoping not to believe the rumors.


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