Major Coaster Accident in Japan

Sunday, May 6, 2007 12:03 AM
I just heard about this on TPR a few minutes ago & I swear I'm never riding KD's shockwave again that's for sure.

From the looks of things the wheel assembly definitely failed but what I want to know is why didn't the rear right wheel of the car prevent it from tipping? as that didn't,or shouldn't have even failed.

If the left rear assembly broke then it should still had support from the left front,right front & right rear axles,much like what happened on Wild thing & chiller last year or more notably on SFGRAM's Demon back in 98.

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Sunday, May 6, 2007 10:20 AM
If I'm seeing things right, the trains on this coaster are trailered, not with four wheel sets per car ala Magmun or Wild Thing. Therefor, no other support for the car to keep it from tilting. Also note that RCDB now has the ride listed as SBNO.

Terrible accident. Thoughts and prayers to those involved and the girl's family.

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Sunday, May 6, 2007 5:16 PM

Mamoosh said:
Most, if not all, coasters in Japan have a walkway with railings along one side of the entire length of the track. I wonder if this was the reason for the injuries once the axel broke?

I've always noticed this in pictures. Is this some sort of law? There's lots of steel coasters that seems to have no elements besides mabye a helix, and always the walkways one one, sometimes both sides of the track.

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Sunday, May 6, 2007 5:59 PM
Yes, it is a law/code/regulation. I'm pretty sure the reasoning is so people can be safely evacuated in case an earthquake leads to the train being stopped in a less-than-desirable location.
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Sunday, May 6, 2007 8:35 PM
^ So why is there railing right where this happened? By the positions of the seats, it's quite obvious that the fatality and major injury were sustained in the front car that hit the catwalk and the one behind it ... yet the picture shows the car in what appears to be a relatively low point on the ride.

So why is there a railing there? If there was some sort of a failure in the ride due to an earthquake, either the car wouldn't stop right there due to it going through there at high enough speed to make the next hill, or it's low enough to the ground that people could just jump down.

I feel bad that someone had to get killed to make it an issue, but at what point do over-reaching "safety" measures cause more problems than the original machine/ride? I've wondered since riding the SRoS coasters if there is some sort of inherent safety reason that Intamin designed those lapbar restraints the way they did (that open), and now a knee-jerk reaction is going to lock people into the train no matter what ... there's NO wiggling out of those things. Not to be a downer, but what if there was a quick-moving fire in the station? I think so much effort goes into "safety" sometimes that people fail to look at the bigger picture and think of the damage that safety systems can cause.

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Sunday, May 6, 2007 10:36 PM
But the accident could've happened anywhere on the ride. It's tragic that a safety system ultimately killed someone, but when lawmakers pass these kind of codes, they shouldn't be obligated to consider every kind of worst case scenario out there. Had whoever was responsible for the axle breaking done their job, this would've never happened. Instead of overreacting and revoking the regulation requiring walkways (which are a good idea), lawmakers should enact more rigorous inspection or manufacturing regulations to make sure coaster cars don't go flying apart while the ride is in motion.

Should we install 4-point harnesses with Master Locks on every ride because people can stand up if they so desire? Should we require roller coasters to use twice as much support in the event that a column is faulty? Absolutely not. Laws have to be passed in good faith... we can't second guess our best judgment because someone else can screw up.

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Sunday, May 6, 2007 10:42 PM
A very sad accident. Has anyone heard of North America parks reacting to this? I'm going to Toronto this year, and I actually enjoy stand-ups.
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Tuesday, May 8, 2007 8:04 PM
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20070508a4.html

The latest. Am posting it to the news thread as well.

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