Two girls injured falling from carnival Zipper

Posted Sunday, July 9, 2006 11:40 PM | Contributed by TopWeb01

Two teenage girls were injured in an accident on a ride at Hinckley's Corn & Clover Carnival on Saturday, city and county officials said. Witnesses said the girls fell about 25 feet from a ride called the Zipper.

Read more from WCCO/Twin Cities.

Monday, July 10, 2006 12:19 AM
A: The door wasent latched properly due to neglagence
B: The Latch Failed causing the door to open
or C: Some other part failed either due to bad welds, poor maintanence or something of that sort
Monday, July 10, 2006 12:28 AM
D: all of the above. If those things can all happen at once, leave it to a carnival as the place that it all goes down.
Monday, July 10, 2006 12:33 AM
And this is why I say that the Zipper is still one of the--if not thee--scariest flats ever made. I've ridden it several times--in fear for my life, but generally having a good time. But, there's always that nervous feeling about the door latch. This happened last year too didn't it? " I think Chance should look into designing a better door latch, door, or cabin. I think a better design would be to have an open seat with an OTSR, but they didn't too well with that either with the Chaos.
Monday, July 10, 2006 12:49 AM
Yeah I've thought Chaos cars on it would be better too. It'd be nice to be open air as well.
Monday, July 10, 2006 1:24 AM
Intamin Fan, I agree about the chaos cars. I won't even go near those rides anymore in fear of my own personal safety. Hell, the first time I rode one (opening year on CP's), I got stuck upside-down at the end of the cycle for about half an hour. I knew they were trouble from the start.
Monday, July 10, 2006 1:51 AM
That's great news that the girls will be okay after such a horrific accident. The zippers I've been on always sounded like they were one bolt away from breaking free.
Monday, July 10, 2006 3:51 AM
wow similar thing happened last summer in Toronto at the CNE
Monday, July 10, 2006 6:01 AM
All carnivals just need to shut down. They are so poorly regulated and almost all recent injuries and fatalities that have come about are from temporary amusement parks.
Monday, July 10, 2006 9:16 AM
I am aware that Chance had problems with Zippers back in the 1970s similar to the case here. There was also a Chance Skydiver fatality during the 1960s at Kennywood (KW named the ride the "Popover") during the same year as the Thunderbolt fatality that resulted in the No Single Riders rule on that ride.

There have been a number of accidents this year involving permanent ride installations including the one that just occurred at PKI. As for the carnivals, safety varies with the company and the state but many of the major traveling carnivals are strongly committed to safety because they return to the same fairs year after year and they care about their reputation.


Monday, July 10, 2006 9:31 AM
I think the zippers cars are great. it's a tight fit but when its closed, i feel comfortable, for the most part. I do agree that they sound like they are one loose bolt away from falling apart. I think ALL caged on ALL zippers should be retrofitted w/ a more secure latch & perhaps a magnetic mechanism to keep it shut also.
Monday, July 10, 2006 11:20 AM

Yeah I've thought Chaos cars on it would be better too. It'd be nice to be open air as well.

As long as they closed off the sides. You could lose an arm if you stuck it to the side.

This is really unfortunate because I really love the ride, but have had the same reservations that several have expressed here about the door popping open. Your saftey relies heavily on the door latch.

Monday, July 10, 2006 12:51 PM
kRaXLeRidah, apparently you didn't read about the Son of Beast accident. To say that almost all recent injuries and fatalities on amusement rides have occured at carnivals would be an out-and-out lie. Remember, in may states you don't have to report an injury at a fixed amusement park site. I bet if you were to see all the reports of both fixed and non-fixed amusement sites, they'd be a lot closer than you think.
*** This post was edited by Intamin Fan 7/10/2006 12:53:23 PM ***
Monday, July 10, 2006 1:29 PM
It wasn't Chance that had the latch problem, it was Allen Herschel that was building them at the time. An accident in Arizona where a latch failed (two deaths, as I recall Rideman, is it in the Rolback?)resulted ultimately to AH's parent company (Weisnar Rapp) selling out to the fledgling Chance Manufacturing. They reworked the latch design, but it still needs to be periodically replaced.
Monday, July 10, 2006 2:58 PM
Seen on another coaster-related discussion forum, do you realize how many failures had to occur for that door to open during the ride cycle?

For the old style Zipper, the R-key would have to break or fall out, then the spring steel lock would have to open, and then also the lapbar lock would also have to fail.

Monday, July 10, 2006 5:07 PM
Wow! Carnies. gotta love 'em. (end sarcasm)
Monday, July 10, 2006 9:14 PM
I emailed Chance years ago asking if they had considered using the Chaos cars on a Zipper. The response I got was that they were too heavy.
Monday, July 10, 2006 10:49 PM
No no no no no no no! No Chaos cars on the Zipper!

The only way they would be installed is if it had over the shoulder restraints.., since theres no roof, and with the directions the ride exacutes, you would have to suppport several postions on the body and also with those forces, you would bruise chests and breasts left and right. (no pun there)

Im not saying theres no way around that design, but many ride companies feel OTSR's are the way to go. The seats and restraints on the Chaos are fine due to the fact that the forces arent hard enough.

Then, you would have to worry about closing in the feet, which on a Chaos, my shins get bruised even with those minimal forces.

I have had (Im not kidding) a Zipper ride with over 30 continuous flips and the OTSR's would have knocked me out on that.

The current seat configuration is fine, but I think if they came up with a seat divider, they could allow single rides again. You bounce around too much without a partner, thats why the 2-per tub rule was established. However, a seat divider would allow 3 riders to be a thing of the past.

The one thing though, I would really like to see is some other advanced form of latch if the main one were to fail. If a Rock-o, Fly-o, Loop-o or Roll-o Plane's latch fails, there is an alternative key lock. If both fails, the door swings open to you're left or right, but not both, and you can still hold on. If a latch fails on the Zipper, there is a sfety key, but if that fails, you have riders out the door.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 2:41 AM
The Zipper is the only one of the "classic flats" that I never ever went on as a kid. My aunt Shelly would take me to carnivals whenever they'd come up to Seattle, and she always wanted to take me on the Zipper, but I never did. Then they installed one at the Fun Forrest at Seattle Center... must have been around the mid 70s... A mother and child fell out and died on that one...

The only way I'll ever ride one of those is in RollerCoaster Tycoon 3D.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006 10:17 AM
Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like both girls are going to be okay. Local news reported this morning (7/12) that one girl is still in critical condition, with "spinal injuries". She reportedly fell straight to the ground, while the other girl hit another cage first.

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