Thursday, November 29, 2001 3:06 PM
A while ago there was an accident on the Mindbender at the West Edmonton Mall. What was the accident?
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Thursday, November 29, 2001 3:09 PM
I believe that the train bodies separated from the chassis, or the cars separated from the track, one of the two, and people went flying and hit themselves on a support or track, I'm not sure which, and several died. Since then, they have taken off one car to make 3 car trains and made the trains significantly heavier.
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Thursday, November 29, 2001 3:24 PM
I saw it on a show on the discovery channel about the world's largest mall. The pictures they showed were disturbing, it was just a terrible accident. I would imagine it was the worst coaster accident in modern times. From what I've read it sounds like there was a blame game played between Schwarzkopf and the mall for who was responsible. Though I do believe reading that it was the mall's fault, as they did not do a physical inspection to the trains but only a visual check. Looks like an amazing ride and I assume that they will never repeat the mistakes of this accident again.
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Thursday, November 29, 2001 3:26 PM
Does anyone have any pictures for it. I looked on RCDB but couldn't find the coaster.
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Thursday, November 29, 2001 3:36 PM
spongebob, i do not think you want to see the pics considering they are pretty grusome. It was definitely one of the most bloody and abbhorrent coaster accidents ever. It is a shame since it seemed that it was pure negligence that caused the accident.
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Thursday, November 29, 2001 3:42 PM
I remember hearing about this a while ago, but exactly how long ago was this?
Thursday, November 29, 2001 4:09 PM
Accually not only was 1 car removed, but 3 were. 2 of the 3 were replaced by leading cars, so now the train is a train of 3 leading cars. I guess this makes it one of the safest coasters around, not sure why, but thats what I heard. Might have to do with the 12 wheel assemblies, instead of 10. Dunno though.
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Thursday, November 29, 2001 4:22 PM
Here is the only pic. that I could find on the accident:
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Thursday, November 29, 2001 4:32 PM
The worst coaster accident in modern times was on a wooden roller coaster in Swansea, UK in 197? (I can't nail down the exact date on this, I've seen almost every year in the '70s.) A loaded train stopped about 65ft up the lifthill, and subsequently the train rolled back into the train behind it on the loading platform. Somewhere between 12 and 21 deaths. (Again, I've seen varying figures.) The sadest thing about both this and the Canadian Mindbender accident is that they wern't really accidents. They were both caused by poor maintaince practices.
Thursday, November 29, 2001 4:57 PM
I don't remember the date of the Mindbender accident, but it was in the early years of the West Edmonton Mall. As I understand it, they sheared a couple of bolts that held one of the wheel carriers on the back of the last car of the train. The loss of the last wheel carrier on one side allowed the last car to completely derail, swing wide of the track, and collide with a support column. Riders were ejected when the lap bar mechanism released. On the one hand, the park didn't properly inspect and maintain the wheel carriers. On the other hand, my understanding is that the bolts that failed were not accessible for regular inspection. There was more than enough blame to go around.
The train now runs all lead-cars (it's no longer trailered) so that the loss of any one wheel carrier will only allow a car to half-derail; and for "good measure" the train has been equipped with shoulder bars in addition to the lap bars. Not that they would have made any difference in the outcome of the accident.
Note that mechanically the Demon
incident at Great America, in which a whole axle was lost, was a more serious variation of the same incident, but due to a fault-tolerant design, there were only minor injuries.
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
Thursday, November 29, 2001 9:46 PM
I would like to point out that many parks inspect trains by magnafluxing them every season. This is a process wherein cars are magnatized and painted with a special paint, or maybe it is a poweder, that it magnetic itself. More molecules of the substance run into stress cracks, and when looked at under a blacklight, the cracks can be found easily. I know Six Flags (Georgia) does this every year to all their coasters and I would assume most other large parks do the same. So yes, this accident probably could have been avoided if in fact cars were not magnafluxed routinely.
Thursday, November 29, 2001 11:28 PM
most parks even x ray all parts
Friday, November 30, 2001 5:24 AM
I believe the accident happened sometime in 1986, when Mindbender was still relatively new. There was an excellent article on the Mindbender accident, as well as the Lightnin' Loops accident at SFGAdv, in a 1987 issue of Popular Mechanics.
Almost as disturbing as the mechanical failure on rides like Mindbender and Demon is the human failure in cases like the Lightnin' Loops accident. Lightnin' Loops was comprised of two interlocking Arrow shuttle loop rides - it was the third such example of Arrow's interlocking loops. Apparently, the operators in the station were not required to manually check the train's harnesses before dispatching the ride. They relied on sensor readings indicating that all harnesses were down. The accident occurred when a young woman stepped into a car which already had the harness in the down position before she got into her seat. She knew something wasn't right, and tried to yell to the operators. But since the sensors indicated all harnesses were down and locked, the train was dispatched. The rider then fell from the train at some point when it was going through the loop, and was killed.
Friday, November 30, 2001 6:19 AM
what you say is true (in fact, when I toured the PKI shops they did a mag-particle (MP) non-destructive testing (NDT) demo on a pair of Vortex dual-axis pivot shafts...one cracked, one not). And while extensive MP NDT is common, I know some parks do go so far as to X-ray pins and keys and such.
But with the Mindbender incident, I'd thought (and I could be wrong...) that the bolts sheared because they had worked loose because the torque hadn't been checked. That's not exotic (or even rudimentary) materials NDT; that's daily inspection.
Olsor, first of all a word about the interlock on Lightnin' Loops: The only thing that is checked by the control system is the position of the restraint release pedals, to insure that all the pedals are in the "locked" position...which has nothing to do with whether the bars are up or down. The pedals are checked as the train is dispatched, in the first two feet of the launch roll. If any pedals are detected down, the launch is aborted, the brakes are set, and the train is rolled back. A friend of mine experienced that once on Thunderbolt Express.
Second, that incident is one of the reasons I'm not so sure I like co-dispatch buttons. At least two operators were pushing "GO" buttons when the train was dispatched, indicating that neither was looking at the train, each assuming that if anything was wrong, the other would catch it.
Actually, I think the rider was lost at the top of the hill after the loop, but that's not important. What is important is that the incident happened, and what caused it to happen, not the gruesome details of what happened to the victim.
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
Friday, November 30, 2001 7:09 AM
The Mindbender accident happened shortly after it opened, and was blamed on a "part made in Germany that was nonservicable", something not part of the inspection process that caused the train to seperate from the chasisis, resulting in failure of the wheel carrier.
The ride was standing for 18 months after the accident, inside the mall of course, and I'm sure that was tough on people under the circumstances.
Strange thing, though, I remember reading those headlines on that show, the papers critized that ride HEAVILY for not having OTSRs, and its' builder, Schwarzkopf. It even talked about "other rides" that had the safety features of the shoulder bars. So, even though it was an accident, Schwarzkopf and his Mindbender were to blame according to those headlines. They really let them have it, IMO, it was too much, it was like this man, Schwarzkopf, had done this harm, and they wanted to let you know. And man those are graphic pictures they run on that special, it's really not needed, and it is an old special, three or four years old at least, why they want to show those bodies like that, I have no idea. I was watching it the first time, was intrigued by the photos and explanation of the incident, and then they show the victims:(.
*** This post was edited by p_c_r on 11/30/2001. ***
Friday, November 30, 2001 10:38 AM
RideMan, I'm not very familiar with the incident, but if a pin came loose, then you're right, that should be been found on a daily inspection. I know at SFOG, their daily and annual inspections of the Mindbender (weird coincidence, it's also a Schwarzkopf) are top of the line, I would venture to say that SFOG is one of the safest parks around, in my opinion.