Posted Monday, July 12, 2010 12:03 PM | Contributed by Jeff
A woman who fell from a roller coaster at a Baton Rouge amusement park Sunday afternoon is dead. Lindsay Zeno, 21, of Lafayette was pronounced dead at a Baton Rouge hospital. According to witnesses, she fell about 30 feet from the "Xtreme" at Blue Bayou Water Park/Dixie Landin' Amusement Park around 4 p.m.
Read more from WAFB/Baton Rouge.
Those Maurer T-Bars are pretty snug...?
...and while I can't speak for Xtreme, on the one at Waldameer there is an interlock with the dispatch controls that makes sure the bars are down before the train goes out.
The seating position is pretty well done, as well, with your knees "up" in front of the bar.
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
Yeah, this one is puzzling to me because it does seem like a pretty secure set up as long as the lap bar was positioned correctly.
What's odd is the eyewitness in the article mentions the "thing that goes over your chest". Aren't these coasters lapbar only?
^ The one at Waldameer is just a lapbar, and from the few pix at RCDB it would seem Xtreme is the same way.
I seem to remember these being fairly difficult to get in to, and even with the lap bar all the way up, kind of a tight squeeze. I wonder how this happened.
My only thought is this...
With no offense meant, she did seem to be a larger rider. With the way you sit in these seats, is it possible the lap bar was pressing into her chest, instead of going all the way to her stomach/lap? This would make it possible to slip up and out of the seat. It would also explain the eyewitness comment.
So sad to hear about this incident... :(
I'm suprised no one else caught this. But, when I read the eyewitness statement, "The thing that goes over your chest came up and she was trying to put it down, pull it back over her, when she made that turn and I guess she couldn't pull it over her because the next thing you know, she was hitting the ground," it sounds to me like the restraint was closed and it came open somehow and that she was trying to get it to close again.
I live in Louisiana and just recently was at Blue Bayou/Dixie Landin', my friends and I rode the Xtreme many times that day. Regarding the restraints it is a lapbar for an individual person, there are 4 people in a car with 2 sitting back to back. There are 4 lapbars one for each person. The main bar came between your legs then there was a part that formed a T that goes over both legs, and on that T is hand grips they advise you to hold onto since it is a jerky ride. The operators did check the lapbar to insure it was snug and locked in place. Since she was a large woman it may have been on her chest instead of her legs since the cars are rather small.
If it's resting on her chest I would hope she would not be able to ride. Wouldn't that qualify as a reason to tell her she can't ride?
I would really like to know how the go switch works. I hope that there are two switches...one to monitor the position of the lap bar and one to monitor the position of the latching pawl. At least I think it is a ratchet pawl. Anyway, my point is that to be useful, a go switch has to identify not only that the bar is to or past the arbitrary location, but also that the bar is in fact locked.
When I read the story the first thing I thought was that it sounded like a bar locking failure.
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
I'm not even sure if Xtreme has the go switches on the lap bars. It was manufactured in 2000 and I'm not sure Maurer installed the go switches then.
As for the lap bars themselves, there could be a flaw. Over a year ago, a large man panicked on the DLP Crush Coaster (same cars with a turtle theme and layout for the coaster part) and actually FREED himself from the restraint. He luckily fell on a block brake walkway and wasn't badly injured. Does this mean a large person who wants to get out of the restraint is able to and is this what happened to the poor lady?
Does the locking mechanism work similar to this?
Compact Spinning Coaster, SC2000, SC3000 001-07 03-01-2007 B Locking systemTuesday, July 13, 2010 1:14 AM
From reading that I'd guess that manufacturer probably isn't at fault as this seems to be a engineering disclaimer with proper procedures...However something had to drive the creation of this document in the first place. Is this an update document or part of the original manual?
JoshuaTBell: The text of the document seems to describe it as a "clarification". My guess is that the manual specifies the wear tolerances on the ratchet teeth and probably describes the visual and mechanical inspection procedure ("click into each notch and shove hard"). The bulletin gives that information but also gives additional detail on how the teeth are to be measured for ratchet wear.
Note that the document indicates that the ride owners have noted wear on the ratchets and were asking about wear standards. Note also that Absimilliard mentioned an incident on another ride of this model.
RideSafety: Good catch. Obviously we don't know what happened at Dixie Landin', but I know if I owned one of these rides, the existence of this bulletin would encourage me to shut the ride down long enough to perform this inspection.
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
What I'd like to know is why it is the Fire Marshall is the one (seemingly) in charge of the investigation.
Jason Hammond said:http://www.theadvertiser.com/article/20100713/NEWS01/7130316What I'd like to know is why it is the Fire Marshall is the one (seemingly) in charge of the investigation.
My guess is that the fire marshal has over site because this is seemingly an industrial accident, and the laws of Louisiana would put him in charge. I do not believe Louisiana has a state board which inspects amusement rides, and that being said, amusement rides are inspected by a little bit of everyone. (In Ohio, it's the Dept. of Agriculture which inspects amusement rides. Why you might ask? Historically ride inspections are tied to county fairs, and county fairs tend to be related to agriculture. Thus, this seemingly strange pairing.)
I think it also has to do with who has the capability to conduct inspections.
In many states, including New York (except NYC) and New Jersey, it is an arm of the Department of Labor.
In Clark County, NV, and New York City, NY, it's the building inspectors.
In Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Kentucky and Florida, it's the Department of Agriculture.
In Missouri and apparently in Louisiana, it is the Fire Marshall.
In Texas, licenses are issued by the Department of Insurance, but the State doesn't do inspections.
In California, it's the Department of Occupational Safety and Health.
In Ontario, it's a private corporation called the Technical Standards and Safety Administration (TSSA).
It really doesn't matter what public body is responsible for regulating amusement rides, provided that the people doing the work are appropriately qualified.
We've become accustomed to amusement rides being handled by the Department of Agriculture or the Department of Labor in most states, but that's not how it's handled all over!
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
So, there's a lot of states not on your list Dave. Just out of curiosity, did you just make a brief list, not know the rest or are there no standards in place in the other states?
There are still states where there isn't an agency at that level to do inspections and investigations. Some local governments will do inspections,usually done by a building and/or electrical inspector. Some use the fire marshall like mentioned above. I've also seen police and fire cheifs given that responiblity in the old days.
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