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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Friday, June 22, 2007 2:08 AM
"Yeah, according to one eyewitness interview who said she saw her right after it happened, she was just sitting there, not bleeding much, and not crying, just sitting there quietly, probably all due to shock."

How do you have that kind of injury and not bleed much?

And I know this sounds gruesome but... What happened to the feet?

Friday, June 22, 2007 2:22 AM
^I was wondering the same thing but couldn't even type it.....

Did they just fall to the ground?

Friday, June 22, 2007 2:37 AM
This is the first thread on this site to make me physically ill to my stomach reading it. The whole thing is just so horrendous. It makes me not want to ever get on another drop tower again -- not out of fear, mostly, just I don't know how I could ever get on another one and not think of this. It's such a cliche to say, but my heart just goes out to this poor girl. Even if they are able to find her limbs and they are not too mangled to try and re-attach, she is going to be living a very hard, very painful, very changed life for a long time.
Friday, June 22, 2007 2:45 AM
That's what I fear. As gruesome as it sounds, what happened to the feet? If they were severed at the top of the 150+ foot tower. They fell 150+ feet. While I hope they were able to save them and reattach them, it may have been impossible if the feet were damaged beyond recognition.

Sad day this is. My heart goes out to the family and friends of this young girl and to those who witnessed this horrific accident.

Friday, June 22, 2007 2:53 AM
Is this the ride that used to be called Hellivator? Or did they install another drop tower? Like many of you...I can only say this story sucks. What a horrible accident. I'll take a few days...rather than speculate on what could of/should of happened. Human nature is to lash out and assign blame...I prefer to pray tonight. Any loss of limb is life-threatening for a period of time (that has not passed yet). The loss of two limbs is critical.
Friday, June 22, 2007 3:41 AM
is this the same ride from Astroland? the old Dungeon Drop?*** This post was edited by Cropsey 6/22/2007 3:43:45 AM ***
Friday, June 22, 2007 3:46 AM
No, but it is the one from Astroworld.
Friday, June 22, 2007 4:02 AM
Before I get into everything I'd just like to say that this is probably a freak accident. Even if maitenence is to blame (which deep down I don't think was the problem) this is way beyond the worst case scenario anyone could plan for. The manner in which this happened has to be completely unpredictable, and it is sad and very unfortunate that these chain of events led to such severe injuries.

To Jeffrey R Smith: It's the same ride, they just renamed/themed it.

After personally operating the ride before, the thought of this happening is sickening. The location of the ride as well as the set up of the rider line and operator controls means almost maximum visibility to the incident. This really is one of the most horrific rider accidents I've heard about, and to have it happen on a ride I once rode religiously and operated is terrible. To adress the brake questions, that part of the ride system is completely magnetic. Much like you'd find on Acrophobia or others, there are no cables that aid in stoping. There are e-stops on the ride but they can only be used when the computers are in control. Once the car releases (either from normal operations or in this case a cable snap) sad to say, there is really nothing an operator can do until the car is down. Louisville does have a very good medical treatment centers (the first successful full hand transplants were performed here) but I don't know if anything can really be done, the achiles tendon most likely was affected and may not be able to be fixed (no tendon, no ability to walk). I hope this can be fixed but as stated above, 150 ft drop cannot be good for anything trying to be reattached. I rarely pray, but this girl and her family, as well as the many witnesses need all of our prayers tonight. As horrible as this sounds as a news story, I can't even imagine how traumatizing it was for the girl and her family, the people around her in the same ride vehicle, the ride operators who up until this point have only heard gruesome stories on the news, and the many people in line and at the entrance to the park. My sincerest condolences go out to all of these individuals and I hope and pray that no one ever has to experience an incident like this at any amuesment park.

Friday, June 22, 2007 4:19 AM
Richard Bannister said:

No, but it is the one from Astroworld.

Actually, the drop tower from Astroworld was relocated to SFSTl which also has the same name now of Superman Tower of Power.

As far as I know, the SFKK drop tower (Hellavator, now Superman) is an original installation.

Friday, June 22, 2007 4:31 AM
I am in Italy and after turning on my computer to check up on some Maverick or Griffon news, I was absolutely horrified to see this. This has got to be one of the most awful accidents at an amusement park that I have ever heard of, I would never have considered this ever happening. My thoughts are definitely with that poor girl and her family.I don't want to go too much into it, but this has been a truly rough year for thrill seekers, and it is not helping the fanatics who claim that rides are dangerous. I wonder if this most recent incident (horrible that it has to be "most recent" and not only) was any kind of maintenance issue? I guess only time will tell, but I hope for the best for the girl.

---to add one thing though, I don't think the people hit the ground as one of the eyewitnesses said, even if all the cables snapped, the brakes would not have been affected. (I think this was mentioned above too)

*** This post was edited by Willh51 6/22/2007 4:33:04 AM ***

Friday, June 22, 2007 7:01 AM
CNN has some good video. Shows a frayed cable end very clearly.

Friday, June 22, 2007 8:12 AM

"'Is their any cable attached to the bottom of the carriage as well like Power Tower, I've never inspected closely enough.'

No, the actual carriage is completely free once it leaves the catch car, with only gravity pulling it down."

Actually, that isn't the case for Power Tower. The passenger car is always connected to cables, and they run on pulleys up and down as the cart moves up and down the tower. There is no catch car, and the ride provides a slight thrust downward instead of letting you freefall.

Friday, June 22, 2007 8:47 AM
After watching the CNN video, I can't help but think that the cable MAY not have been under tension. Instead, the cable just 'collected' in such a way half way down the tower to create a 'loop'. When the cable snapped, which probably could have occurred at any time during the ascent, but most likely near or at the end of the ascent, and the remaining cables taking the 'load' of the car, when the car fell, the girls feet caught the 'loop' in the snapped cable and literally 'ripped her feet off'. The weight and momentum of the car would have been no match for her feet.

Granted, this is all speculation, but, I don't think it's possible for the cable to have done this under tension, as I do not believe there is enough 'slack' in the system to allow the cable to extend to a point where a rider's legs would been reachable.

I truly feel sorry for this girl. My thoughts and prayers to her and her family.

Edit for typo.*** This post was edited by SVLFever 6/22/2007 8:48:20 AM ***

Friday, June 22, 2007 9:01 AM
This is beyond horrible. I wish the best for her and her family and friends.

I can't imagine how I'd feel if i'd witness something like that, much less clean it up, so my best wishes also go the park and staff.

Friday, June 22, 2007 9:03 AM
Simply reading about this horrific accident is making my stomach churn. I don't believe any amusement park accident to date has ever done so.

My prayers go out to the young girl and her family, no one should have have to have a fun trip to an amusement park turn into possibly the worst day of their life.

Friday, June 22, 2007 9:09 AM
I feel so sorry for the girl, her family and anyone who was there to see it all happen. Awful.

This is really one freak accident, the fact that the cable broke, and somehow managed to get tangled around someones feet has to be a one in a million chance. Its easy to look backward at the design, but why was the cable exposed and not tucked?

Friday, June 22, 2007 9:24 AM
I can't believe a news website would print quotes that are obviously false. The car didn't smash into the pavement like the one person said. That's just poor journalism right there.

It is really sad this happened. If you think about it though, TONS of rides use cables to propel the ride vehicles. So, this could happen on any number of rides. S&S towers, S&S swings, accelerators, cable lifts, etc... Then again, there are literally hundreds of things that could go wrong on any ride installation if you really stop to think about it.

I've never ridden this type of Intamin tower because they always freaked me out. They just look scary. I know for the most part, they're as safe as any other ride out there, but they still just look/sound scary.

Friday, June 22, 2007 9:32 AM
^I'm probably going to skip all these rides together. Another ride like this had it's cable snapped (Intamin Generation Drop Tower 2). I don't think anyone was on it. I hope that girl will be okay.
Friday, June 22, 2007 10:13 AM
Leave it up to the meadia to glamorize the whole thing. Talk about a freak accident. I hope the girl is ok and my thoughts go out to her. :-/


Friday, June 22, 2007 10:40 AM
I'm pretty much in a state of shock right now. On the S&S towers I always noticed that at the top of each "car" there is a bar sticking out at about a 45 degree angle.

I could be totally wrong but do you think that S&S designed that in the event of a cable snap so that the cable would drop "over and in front of" the riders rather than on them?

Total speculation but I suppose it's possible.


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