Miniature train derails in South Carolina, 6-year-old killed, state inspector falsified report

Posted Tuesday, March 22, 2011 11:55 AM | Contributed by Jeff

A miniature train at a South Carolina park derailed and overturned on Saturday, killing a 6-year-old child and injuring at least 18 other people, authorities said. The train at Cleveland Park in Spartanburg had 28 people on board when it derailed. The state admits that its inspector falsified a report certifying it for use, as it was not operational when he performed the inspection.

Read more from MSNBC.

See video from AP:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 12:33 PM

Good Lord. I'm guessing the state inspector is wishing he could have a do-over right about now. Not that it's the same thing, but this is someone who should be brought up on felony charges, not the Dells ride op. No excuse for this.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011 1:30 PM

This sounds oddly familiar in a bad way:

http://www.lostindiana.net/Lost_Indiana/Lost_Indiana__Old_Indiana_Fun_Park.html

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011 2:38 PM

Yeah, Vator, this is someone who intentionally violated the law. Heck, if I do that either on my job or off, I could be prosecuted.

I hope the inspector faces criminal charges and civil litigation here.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011 2:56 PM

Train was speeding.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011 3:28 PM

That's even worse. Now there are at least 2 people responsible for the loss of a 6 year old's life. Two careless people.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011 3:44 PM

Double fail, it would seem. So, the lack of inspection likely isn't to blame, but is still no less irresponsible. Now it seems the driver's stupidity is primarily to blame for the death of a 6-year-old, which makes this more similar to the Dells incident.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011 3:59 PM

I think that depends. The inspector may not bare as much responsibility barring any information that because of his failed inspection something allowed the train to go faster (which I doubt). It seems like from what the article said that the guy driving intentionally was driving too fast (in which case I still don't think it's like the Dells accident), but perhaps that wasn't communicated correctly.

Maybe he meant that he realized the train was going to fast and then the accident happened.

I dunno. Likely from what the article said, he was intentionally driving too fast. In that instance, he put people's lives at danger. I have to wonder if he had to undergo any training to drive that particular train.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011 5:37 PM

jhitesma said:
This sounds oddly familiar in a bad way:

http://www.lostindiana.net/Lost_Indiana/Lost_Indiana__Old_Indiana_Fun_Park.html

That's the first thing that came to my mind, too. Simple train ride passes inspection wrongly, then was operated poorly. It's such an unnecessary situation to end up with.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011 6:24 PM

I've read a copy of the Police report, and while yes he said that he was going to fast, if you take what the reporting officer put down in their report as what he said verbatim, then I wonder whether or not he was in shock. If that was the case then what he said can't be taken as the truth totally. I'd hazard a guess that there is a whole lot more to this tragic incident than just what has hit the media so far.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011 7:31 PM

Have you seen the POV video at abcnews.com from a rider on the train before and when it crashed? He was going very fast, so fast the kids were screaming.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011 11:26 PM

I've been searching for the POV video mentioned in the above post with no luck. Does anyone want to supply a link?

This is just terrible. Who would think that an accident on a small miniature train would cause so many injuries and even a death?

Is there a chance that the speeding was a malfunction? My first car did that once when the gas pedal got stuck.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011 4:02 AM

Here you go

http://abcnews.go.com/US/video/child-films-fatal-train-ride-accident-13194807

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011 8:18 AM

Holy crap! I think that operator thought he was running a roller coaster.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011 9:39 AM

I don't know that the kids were screaming in fear. Sounded more to me like the same screams you'd hear from kids having fun.

But there is still no question, that train was going way too fast, and I have to wonder why there is no limiter on it.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011 10:52 AM

Final Edit: Ooops, got my articles mixed up. That was the old Indiana park story that I was thinking of. Nevermind, carry on.

Last edited by maXairMike, Wednesday, March 23, 2011 10:58 AM
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011 11:29 AM

I'd be careful about using the video too much to analyze the speed of the train. The video is in many regards really jumpy and hard to get a perspective from. It does seem a bit faster than many trains run, but then again, I've seen some run faster as well (i.e. ever riddle the train at Knobels?) It's further biased by the close nature of fence to the train, making it appear as if you are in a tunnel essentially. A speed might be calculated based on some of the objects.

My suspicion is there is a set of problems that developed. Possibly a bit excess speed, coupled with a car rocking a bit too much, coupled with a random dip in the track or possibly a kink in the track brought on by sun heating or settling of the trackbed. Remember a train is not like a roller-coaster in that the track is relatively free to move and does move A LOT. This, coupled with potentially a downgrade section (I do not know the layout) and maybe a slight mechanical delay int eh brakes applying when trying to slow unfortunately resulted in a tragic situation. We'll need to wait for the final report to come out to know exactly what happened (if even then...)

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011 11:39 AM

Walt S said:
My suspicion is there is a set of problems that developed. Possibly a bit excess speed, coupled with a car rocking a bit too much, coupled with a random dip in the track or possibly a kink in the track brought on by sun heating or settling of the trackbed. Remember a train is not like a roller-coaster in that the track is relatively free to move and does move A LOT. This, coupled with potentially a downgrade section (I do not know the layout) and maybe a slight mechanical delay int eh brakes applying when trying to slow unfortunately resulted in a tragic situation. We'll need to wait for the final report to come out to know exactly what happened (if even then...)

Everything in your long list could be summed up by saying the train was going too fast, seeing as how that's the only variable the operator has any control over.

Last edited by djDaemon, Wednesday, March 23, 2011 11:40 AM
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011 12:28 PM

Read this. Interesting that the general media didn't pick this up.

http://www.wyff4.com/news/27280292/detail.html

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011 1:21 PM

That POV video is disturbing.

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