Ride operator dies in Finnish Power Park

Saturday, July 7, 2007 3:05 PM
(You probably know Power Park as the home of GCI's first European coaster, Thunderbird)

For some reason, the ride operator at a Frisbee-style ride left her booth while the ride was operating and entered the ride's safety zone. The disc hit her and threw her to the railings. She died instantly.

There are two versions of the story, one where she went to fetch a fallen shoe (!?) and one where she entered the safety zone for no apparent reason. The version with the fallen shoe seems to be the more probable one.

The ride has riders seated facing outwards so a kid hurt his leg - apparently when colliding with the operator.

Pic of the ride in question:
http://img443.imageshack.us/my.php?image=powerpark200625copyak1.jpg

As far as I know, the park hasn't been slacking in safety and the operator was working her second or third summer there so she must've known for certainty that while the ride operates, the operator should sit in the booth and a fallen shoe doesn't matter a damn thing. Can't really figure out this one so I'll just settle for being sorry about the loss of life and the grief of the family&friends. *** Edited 7/7/2007 7:53:46 PM UTC by Drift*** *** Edited 7/7/2007 7:55:02 PM UTC by Drift***

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Saturday, July 7, 2007 3:36 PM
That's horrible.
My prayers go out to all those involved.
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Saturday, July 7, 2007 6:31 PM
It seems like once every year or so somebody dies from going into the locked out and restricted low-zones. It's sad and tragic, and I really feel for the family (and most importantly the rider) but man... Where the hell has common sense gone?

Although only slightly, deaths like this bother me. It's just such a stupid way to die.

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Saturday, July 7, 2007 7:13 PM
My condolences to all.

That ride looks awesome with the station built around it. Any other installations of this ride with the station built over the ride?

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Saturday, July 7, 2007 7:54 PM
I just started checking Coasterbuzz more frequently and it's getting (for lack of a better word) depressing. :(

I feel so bad for all of these people's families.
And all the people who saw it happen, the riders. That would be so horrific.

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Saturday, July 7, 2007 8:03 PM
Yikes. :(
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Saturday, July 7, 2007 11:59 PM
What's with all of the death and injuries lately?

This sucks. Why would anyone put themselves in the path of a ride for any reason? Was she showing off? Was she not thinking clearly? Was she suicidal? Was she being heroic and trying to rescue someone else who made their way in the ride area? Was she really trying to rescue a shoe?

If she would have lived, she would probably have been fired.

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Sunday, July 8, 2007 12:19 AM
Is this hearsay, where is the link to the story? If she went to retrieve a shoe that was pure stupidity and not an accident
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Sunday, July 8, 2007 12:42 AM
Don't the floors of rides like that usually drop way down as an added deterrent to get in the way of the operation? I know the Claw at Hershey did... and Knoebel's Fandango goes down into somewhat of a V. Aero 360 at KW does too, for that matter, though it's not a spinning ride....

I wish I would have taken more notice on how far it lowers.

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Sunday, July 8, 2007 3:37 AM
The story is being reported in Finnish news outlets, hence the lack of an english link. Here are a couple of Finnish ones
http://www.iltasanomat.fi/uutiset/kotimaa/uutinen.asp?id=1399596
http://www.iltalehti.fi/uutiset/200707076328039_uu.shtml

Today's paper reported that it was afterall girl's first summer in the park and that she was indeed fetching shoes. Apparently she picked one up successfully and went to get another. Her sister was also working at the park.

Even though it was pure stupidity on the girl's part, it doesn't make it less of an accident. Accidents happen due to human errors as well as mechanical malfunctions. What bothers me most about this case is how utterly pointless her death was.

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Sunday, July 8, 2007 6:18 PM
Does it rain there a lot or something? I've never seen one these rides with a covering on both sides of the pendulum. I could see how that could make timing things just right even harder. I'm sure the girl just wanted to be helpful, but what a horrible price to pay.
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Monday, July 9, 2007 2:14 PM
The most recent entry on the ballot for the Darwin Awards...
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Monday, July 9, 2007 2:26 PM
Another very sad incident - I saw where a friend posted elsewhere that a leading cause of these incidents (and they seem to KEEP on coming) is a simple lack of understanding and respect for the awesome POWER of these machines. Couldn't agree more. A reasonable amount of fear is *appropriate*, amusement park rides are very heavy, and go very fast. Humans, OTOH, are frail, lightweight, and not too durable.



Intamin Fan said:Does it rain there a lot or something? I've never seen one these rides with a covering on both sides of the pendulum.

I thought that was VERY cool, the way the ride swings through the station. Must really increase the sensation of speed (like flying by trees on a terrain coaster).

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Monday, July 9, 2007 2:32 PM

Ajrides said:
Is this hearsay, where is the link to the story? If she went to retrieve a shoe that was pure stupidity and not an accident

Here you go.

http://www.rideaccidents.com/

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Monday, July 9, 2007 10:02 PM
Rollergator, I completely agree. A lot of these flats are multi-ton rides. Sometimes, I see operators at the fairs get way too comfortable with the distance they keep from the rides.

There was one guy I saw stand right underneath the horizontally-spinning section of the Hi-Roller aka Krazy Train. Had he misjudged how close he got, that was either serious head trauma or death. And I saw another guy get really close to a KMG Afterburner as it was starting up.

I seriously don't think the girl was stupid--just very naive. She's probably one of those people you hear about in obituaries who was always trying to help other people. And if the shoes were impeding the operation of the ride in anyway, all she had to do was hit the e-stop button.

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