Posted Monday, July 11, 2005 1:42 AM | Contributed by Jeff
A 48-year-old man fell 20 feet from a Ferris wheel Saturday night at the Batavia Windmill City Festival, police said Sunday. The name and condition of the man are not being disclosed.
Read more from The Daily Herald.
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
Multiple witnesses said the man appeared to have been deliberately rocking the gondola before he fell.
But wait a minute....
Isn't this one of those FEDERALLY regulated rides?
Why do they always seem to have more problems than the fixed rides at theme parks that aren't?
Another layer of inefficient bureaucracy. No solution to the problems. That's Markey's way.
Is it me, or does the carnival industry seem a bit...colloquial with regards to their safety records? "Pretty good?" Am I the only one unsettled by that?
I think it's particularly interesting that the adult came out of the seat and the 9-year-old kid didn't. They didn't say what kind of a Wheel it was, but I can make a pretty good guess.
Now how does a seat fail in such a way that the adult comes out and the kid doesn't? Consider that the adult is, at least in theory, much more stable in the seat than the kid. Consider also how often we are reminded that the kids are particularly at risk for coming out of rides (Don't believe me? Ask Kathy at saferparks.org; she has the research.).
I'd say odds are about 80% that this one is willful misconduct on the part of the adult rider.
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
A number of years ago a man came out of the SkyGlider at the Ohio State Fair. I don't think they ever determined what happened, but he was dead on the ground and his toddler son remained in the car, bar down, for the rest of the trip. If the misconduct was intentional it makes you wonder what the hell they were thinking, huh?
For those of you who dis carney rides, I will repeat that most fatalities occur on fixed rides. Over the last ten years, only 20% of fatalities have occurred on mobile rides. ( 6 of 32 ). I don't have numbers for total number of rides given to provide a weighted comparison, but I think it's clear that things aren't as bad as some think. I think one reason that more people are killed at amusement parks if the fact that the rides are bigger, taller and move faster. These don't increase that danger as long as the ride and the rider function properly, but if some thing goes wrong, there is a lot more energy available to cause serious injuries.
I'm not knocking carnival rides. I love 'em. But the Federal oversight that supposedly 'makes it all better?' I'll knock that all day.
Those numbers are for consumer fatalities only. I don't have the worker numbers, but I would guess that they are worse than for fixed parks. Also, I'll bet there a a number of highway accidetents that kill canrival workers every year with all the travel.
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