Oakwood investigation considers US deaths on Intamin rides

Posted Thursday, June 17, 2004 9:40 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Police say they are "taking into account" the fatal accident at Six Flags New England in the US a few weeks after a teenager's death at Oakwood on Hydro. The Six Flags death was attributed to the rider not being secured properly. The ride was made by the same manufacturer as Hydro, Intamin AG, of Switzerland.

Read more from The BBC.

Thursday, June 17, 2004 9:43 AM
Am I the only one that finds it odd that with a hundred witnesses they haven't been able to piece together what happened?
Thursday, June 17, 2004 10:01 AM
i don't think it is weird, because of course everyone that saw it knew the girl flew out of her restraints and fell. The thing is that they have to determine why she fell, like her size, restraint failure, inadequate restraints, or rider error. Those things cannot usually be determined by the general public watching
Thursday, June 17, 2004 10:42 AM
Yet the folks in New England put things together quickly with a small handful of witnesses.
Thursday, June 17, 2004 10:53 AM
Yeah & even then the park (SFNE) tried to cover it up to an extent by placing blame on the victim & not on the ops who were responsible for checking the left side of the train.
Thursday, June 17, 2004 11:29 AM
Hi all,

It's not really that odd. Sometimes the more witnesses you have, the more difficult it becomes to ascertain EXACTLY what happened, because people tend to have subtly different versions of events. Also, from a practical perspective: the more people you have to speak to, the longer things take to transcribe, read through etc.... I have a hunch the devil will be in the detail with this one. Maybe Oakwood and the authorities have a good idea of what went wrong, but are waiting till they've accumulated all the evidence they need to substantiate their views. They don't have the luxury of being able to speculate freely as we do.

Best, B

Thursday, June 17, 2004 12:13 PM

This may be a long shot, but perhaps the 100 witnesses only saw the girl fall out and nothing else. There is an area where most people stand and watch the ride. From that area, there is a point where you would not be able to see every individual on the boat as it curves at the top.

Here is a picture I took in the area I am talking about. If the girl were to have stood up, turned around, or something like that, there is a chance that the people standing in the viewing area area couldn't see what she was doing.

The area where the latest SFNE accident happend is viewable from just about any point in the main outdoor portion of the line. Even with less witnesses, the viewing area was more focused, if that makes sense. Those that witnessed the girl falling out of Hydro could have only seen her as she was going down the drop as opposed to an entire last leg of a coaster.


Thursday, June 17, 2004 12:38 PM
My going theory is still that she wiggled out of the seat, something that sure appears easy given the lack of sides to the seat. It's a damn shame.
Thursday, June 17, 2004 3:50 PM
I don't think you're far wrong. There must be something exceptional in this case as opposed to it just being her small (but not exceptionally so) build. Whether she wriggled out, or fell to the side when the neighbouring restraint was up, I don't think it is as 'simple' as the other cases, otherwise we would I suspect have seen more slim teenagers fall out.

I'm surprised the investigation is still ongoing, although appreciate the amount of evidence they have to go through. I doubt we'll see Hydro open again this season.

Thursday, June 17, 2004 8:30 PM
does anyone have pictures with the new restraints on superman at SFNE?
Friday, June 18, 2004 12:01 AM
Personally, I don't think any of the cases is as simple as the 'fixes' and the comments from Intamin suggest.

What needs to happen in this case is to identify a condition under which the incident can happen. Or several conditions under which the incident can happen. It might not be possible to re-create the exact circumstances of the accident, but if a way can be found to throw a rider out of the boat, then that gives you a condition that has to be considered for repair.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004 7:18 PM
The article said the girl's height may have been a factor. Did anyone read what her height was?
Tuesday, July 27, 2004 5:53 AM
Dear All

I was on Hydro the day before this tragedy and when i sat in the Hydro Car first of all i noticed how high the sides are on the car and secondly as i am a big Fellow (18 Stone) i had difficulty in doing my restraint up"Much to the embarrassment of my son. I asked the attendant if i could just use the bar and he said under no circumstances can i ride without the belt. One think i do Know is if i hadn't said anything i am sure i could have as my raincoat was covering it and there were no physical checks made by the Girl Assistant.

Paul Skinner

Coaster nut


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