State officials say they can't enter park to investigate Superman accident

Posted Wednesday, August 8, 2001 5:02 AM | Contributed by Jeff

A report in The Boston Globe says that local officials are frustrated that they can't enter Six Flags New England to investigate the train collision that injured dozens on Superman.

Read more from The Boston Globe.

[Ed. note: The article incorrectly states that state inspectors are barred by federal law from performing inspections. Clearly if this was the case, inspectors in dozens of other states couldn't do it either. While Rep. Ed Markey is again trying to make a federal case of this, it sounds like a problem for their state legislature, not the feds. -J]

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Wednesday, August 8, 2001 5:47 AM
I hope they release the results of the investigation so some of the people who read this site can stop hypothesizing about what happened. Sure coasters are incredibly safe-if you don't get rear-ended in the station (see also Pepsi Max Big One, KW Thunderbolt, Wildfire, etc.)

Batwing-Bow Down
Wednesday, August 8, 2001 5:47 AM
IM SORRY AND most of you wont agree with me but its time for the government to step in and develope a plan.
Wednesday, August 8, 2001 6:06 AM
Well maybe then the state should step in and do something about all the accidents on the roads as well, because you've got more chance being injured driving to a theme park than you have in the park itself.

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Wednesday, August 8, 2001 6:17 AM
Nope, it's not time for the feds to get involved. It's time for the state to get involved. Never use the feds to solve problems that should be solved at the state level. The voters in MA should see to it that their state closes this loophole. Obviously, states do have the power to inspect. THis may also be an example of an incompetent public official(like that's never happened before).
Wednesday, August 8, 2001 6:34 AM
Another opportunity for Ed Markey to open his mouth? Let me get my earplugs.

Let me quote the beloved Mr. Markey: "It is a miracle that this accident did not result in more serious injury, but we are living on borrowed time." A miracle? If that's your criteria for a miracle, Mr. Markey, then I just performed one last night when I put water into a tray, stuck it in my freezer, and returned to find solid cubes of ice. If you want to see some more miracles, I'm going to make my coffee change colors by adding the magical ingredient, cream.

Borrowed time? Are roller coasters just biding their time, waiting to injure the next passenger that dares step in line for a ride? Does anyone take this guy seriously? I'll let the invocation of "children" and the comments about "huge machines" and "speeds up to 100 miles per hour" soak in their own sensational and hyperbolic juices... they seem to taste best that way, at least to the press.

But we should expect such quotes from Ed Ma(la)rkey. The Boston Globe, however, seems too eager to jump on the hysterical media bandwagon.

Way to do your research, Globe, obtaining "facts" about Superman from the Six Flags website, the anti-paragon of accurate roller coaster information. Oh, it does reach speeds of close to 80 mph, but how fast was it going when the accident occurred? Not 80, or this would be a totally different story. And I always appreciate the comparison of the forces experienced on roller coasters rivaling that of space shuttle launches. You know, don't bother to mention the enormous disparity between the duration of those forces experienced...

Well, I've ranted enough.
Wednesday, August 8, 2001 6:43 AM
They have been trying to get this bill passed in MA for a few years now it keeps getting shot down.
MA does not care about rider safety if they did this would be a law. You cannot let these park's police themselves its like asking your own kid what he wants for his punishment. The state should be involved, I just dont understand a state where they dont want to inspect rides that carry children.
Army rangers lead the way
Wednesday, August 8, 2001 7:00 AM
''It is a miracle that this accident did not result in more serious injury, but we are living on borrowed time,'' said US Representative Edward J. Markey, sponsor of legislation that would return oversight of amusement parks to the federal government.

''Every day, children are climbing on amusement park rides that no public official ever inspects,'' he said in a statement released yesterday. ''Why should huge machines carrying children at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour be the only consumer product exempt from federal consumer safety laws?''

Yeah, okay Markey... Children. Someone want to check the height limit? God I hate baby boomers. The self indulgent generation who can't let their kids wipe their own ***. What the hell is the world coming to! Bunch of wussies!
Wednesday, August 8, 2001 7:04 AM
does this mean i should never go on a superman again? They're all unsafe!

Our local news channel, which has an X in it, just to get veiwers attention said, "A superman "rolley" coaster has crashed at Six Flags" and didn't even show any photage!

HurricaneGeauga- Just in case
Wednesday, August 8, 2001 7:26 AM
I like Olsor's comments but I do think there should be some national standard for inspection. Whether the states decide on it together or the feds coordinate. With similar rides around the country, it stands to reason there should be similar regulations for inspection. Why should a Batman clone have minimal inspection requirements while the sister coaster has stringent requirements?

If I were the leaders of the industry, I would be proactive and propose legislation they all can agree upon.
Wednesday, August 8, 2001 7:38 AM
I think the government should be more dealing with other, BIGGER problems in the nation. (Drilling in Alaska, Nuclear War Heads, Crime, Murderers, Gun Control, Missing persons) The government shouldn't care about amusement parks.

Government/Politics + "President" Bush = Crash in US Economy.

"Duff Man Says... Ohhhhh Yaaaaa!"
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Wednesday, August 8, 2001 7:53 AM
I'm not surprised...
I visited Six Flags New England last summer. After years of going to Cedar Point, I was surprised at how reckless the ride-ops/staff were for Superman. For example, right when we were about to board the train, people ran onto the train cutting in front of other people; you couldn't get into the seats you were waiting for - instead, you had to walk up and down the train to find an open seat. I was shocked because this would never happen at Cedar Point. From that point on I felt that Six Flags New England had lower safety standards.
Wednesday, August 8, 2001 7:57 AM
StealthmF5m3, that's one of the most ignorant comments I heard on here for a while. Bush has nothing to do with the economy not booming right now...Is that what your parents tell you? What the hell do you mean crash? Did the stock market plummet beyond no return? Did we experience another black Monday? The economy hasn't just isn't a good as it was around this time last year.

The economy started to drop before Clinton even got out of office...I have no idea how Bush has anything to do with the growth or decline of the economy since Alan Greenspan controls interests rates...

*** This post was edited by CPgenius on 8/8/2001. ***
Wednesday, August 8, 2001 8:18 AM
It seems like these topics just kind of end up going in circles, but i will post anyway. There is no, and i repeat no need for government regulations on coasters. A park has every reason to try and keep their coasters and rides as safe as possible. People getting into accidents on rides means bad PR, which can mean less people, or worse yet that the ride might get shut down and they would lose money. To think that govt regulations will change any of these accidents is just, in my estimation, not sound thinking. Just look at what govt regulations on cars has accomplished.... i think it is safe to say that many more cars that pass govt standards cause deaths than any coasters have. That being said, i don't think anyone right now can know for sure what happened to SROS but i think that we can rest assured that the problem will be found and precautions wil be taken so that such a thing can't happen again.
Wednesday, August 8, 2001 8:21 AM
I know this has nothin to do with the news report, but Markey is kinda wasting his time with this. If the government is smart, which i doubt it is. They will say no to this rule and say use your time to help with gun control. Like said earlier there are so many other things that should be worried about more than amusement park rides. Amusement parks cause what around 25 deaths even that. Guns, car accidents, etc. can cause more than 10,000 deaths each. I think they should have a law that all cars be manufactured to not go over 80 mph. It would stop all speeding which cause plenty of accidents alone. Lightning and animal attacks cause thousands of deaths. What are you gonna do tell lightning and animals to stop killing people. There are occasional deaths caused by malfunctions and mechanical problems. But those are very quickly looked at and made sure that the ride is back to 100% safe before opening the ride again. About 75% of ride deaths are caused by the rider to heighten the thrill of the ride and end of really makin it fun by flying as well. If Markey takes this to Congress, I think a bunch of representatives from coaster clubs and coaster designers should get together and fight this with logical explanations. Without a doubt we could win because its quite logic there are accidents now and then and we feel very sad when it does happen but rides are checked every day and night and we warn people of the precautions you should take before riding. What else can we do? And on a side note, if government does take control of roller coasters being built. It will not change anything about the ride except the fun of the ride and there is nothing else that can make a person happier than riding a roller coaster. People crave speed and thrills, if we dont have that people are gonna resort to speeding in cars to get that extra thrill and end up causing 10x as many accidents that occur in amusement parks. So I say, let the state help with the rules and regulations and the goverment stay the ***k away from our only resort to fun.
NEW - 35 Michigan's Adventure Photos at G-Screams *** This post was edited by beastnum1 on 8/8/2001. ***
Wednesday, August 8, 2001 8:45 AM
No recent president has anything to do with the tech sector's self-adjustment, but that's a topic for another site.

Markey is grandstanding, just like the guy who is trying to block Windows XP (isn't he from the same state?). If the state isn't involved, sit down with the governor and legislature and figure it out, because I for one completely agree that the state should have oversight. I accept the possibility that state inspection procedures could have prevented the accident if the problem was indeed mechanical or electronic.

However, if you think that I'm going to accept the feds spending my tax dollars to fix a Massachusetts problem, you're sadly mistaken. I already pay the State of Ohio to handle that here in my backyard, I'm certainly not going to do it for someone else's backyard.

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Wednesday, August 8, 2001 8:47 AM
Why should the government get involved? The parks want a good safety record as much as they do. a park wouldn't make money if they weren't safe!
Wednesday, August 8, 2001 9:07 AM
If you use the argument that the feds need not step in b/c the parks have every reason to keep their rides safe to avoid bad PR, then why not take it further?

We shouldn't regulate airlines b/c they don't want to crash. We shouldn't regulate food b/c companies don't want to make you sick. We shouldn't regulate pharmaceutical companies b/c they don't want to poison you. We shouldn't regulate workplace safety b/c no company would want to harm their employees.

I think Jeff makes the best argument...that some states already regulate. However, some states don't so maybe the feds should set a minimum standard and then let the states go above and beyond that if they wish.

Oh, and to blame Bush for the economy? That is the sign of a pretty uneducated person.
Wednesday, August 8, 2001 9:39 AM
Olsor said it best..........

Wednesday, August 8, 2001 9:46 AM
It is not the federal rules (as an article stated) that prohibit a state inspector from entering the park. That would be impossible. I just love reading articles by uninformed people. It makes me wish that they would back up their statements with a statistical analysis or better yet with some facts then maybe they would realize that what they are saying is utter non-sense. The parks have every reason to be safe while trying to thrill people. This is not the 1920’s you know. Back then if people were killed on a coaster it would increase its popularity. Now a park can not afford to have any accidents as it can only lead to less attendance. Which in the end means smaller profits. Yes the parks are after the almighty dollar.

Let me ask a hypothetical question. What good can come from the federal government regulating the amusement industry (which it did and failed at once already) to an industry that is safer than tying your own shoes? All we will get is more red tape and more taxes. I for one find it hard to believe that $500,000 will be enough money for the Federal Government to be able to regulate the amusement industry. Although, I can understand using the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) as a clearinghouse for amusement ride/park accidents. Beyond that I don’t see what good can actually come out of such regulation First off, amusement parks are not something we consume. It is something we do to entertain ourselves. It may be a product but does it really apply to the CPSC? However on the safety aspect, going to an amusement park is almost as safe as flying. Is government regulation of the food industry making it safer. I personally don’t think so as we have seen an increase in E. Coli infections among other problems with food safety. Is government regulation of the airline industry making it any safer than it already is? Not really. The airplane manufacturers have much more stringent guidelines for what makes their airplanes safe than what the federal government does. I have taken classes to become an airline mechanic so this is something I can talk about with a reasonable amount of knowledge.

We all know what the media does when an airplane has an accident so why should we expect less out of them for a roller coaster. I agree where someone said that it is society that is at fault and not the media. Which would you rather watch on the news, some sensationalistic bologna that say millions are killed at amusement parks each year or one about some person who did some meaningful voluntary community service. How long will it take for us a nation to realize that the news blows things way out of proportion so that they can get an audience? It is all about ratings people. Who knows, maybe eventually they will get so desperate for ratings that they will create their own news. I can see it now a live broadcast of a gang fight only to find out days or even years later that it was staged by the television industry so that they actually had something to grab your attention when the news comes on.

Not even a thousand people are killed at amusement parks every year. Not even 100. Not even 5 a year. I would rather try to win the lottery, than to try to get hurt on a roller coaster (not only would it make me happier if I won, but I would have a better chance at that). And to the mother of the girl who had her foot crushed by the Cajun Cliffhanger who wants this bill to pass too. Would the federal government have stopped her from not following the instructions on proper riding technique? I don’t think so. But they may have made the recommended upgrade to the ride mandatory. I do sympathize with you and your daughter but if she had been following the rules she would not have been hurt.

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