Posted Friday, July 19, 2013 9:27 PM | Contributed by Jeff
Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington has confirmed an adult woman died while riding the Texas Giant Friday night. While news of the death quickly spread across Twitter, few details were confirmed as of 8 p.m.
Shame. Interested to see how it happened.
Wow. Not a good night at all.
This is so sad. I was on this last summer, and unless the restraint came loose, there is no way this woman would have been ejected. My prayers are with her family.
This is always hard to hear about, and the waiting period to find out what happened is going to be difficult. It's a tragedy any way you break it down, and no explanation is going to make it a non-issue, but I hope that it wasn't an engineering failure. It would be horrible to find out it was another body type issue where she was simply too large to be properly accommodated, but it would be far worse to find it to be a failure in the design of the restraint. That would have been unacceptable years ago as the technology is so mature, and even more so today.
This story sure makes it sound like it may have been a body/size issue:
I am not familiar with the restraints on NTG but if it is ratcheting lap bar one click is NOT enough. Sometimes the bar can 'click' but not be fully engaged. I've had multiple bars pop one click because of this, though it's never an issue because the next ratchet catches fully. When you allow riders to ride one click on a ride with no belt you are rolling the dice, which may or may not have happened here, I'm just going off the article Raven-Phile linked to.Last edited by DejaVuNitro, Friday, July 19, 2013 10:38 PM
Does anyone have operational knowledge about the Gertslauer trains on Rocky Mountain coasters....do they signal the control panel that lapbars are properly secured and the train is clear for dispatch like on B&M coasters?
Yeah there are go/no go lights on each car on Texas Giant. Train can't be dispatched until each restraint is 'cleared' (green)
The more I think of it, the more I really think it had to be a restraint failure.
This is very sad.
Geez, that's horrible.
I am not familiar with the restraints on NTG but if it is ratcheting lap bar one click is NOT enough. Sometimes the bar can 'click' but not be fully engaged. I've had multiple bars pop one click because of this, though it's never an issue because the next ratchet catches fully. When you allow riders to ride one click on a ride with no belt you are rolling the dice...
That is not entirely true.
A good example of this is the ratcheting lap bar that GCI uses. That bar has an index system which prevents the bar from locking into the first two detents, so the first time the bar goes "click" it actually has latched into the third detent. Once the index has cleared (allowing the bar to lock) it has two positions to fail into in the event that it is not fully locked. I am not sure what other lap bar mechanisms use a similar arrangement.
The real issue, though, is that the train has a feedback system on it whereby the bar locking position is relayed back to the control system. But that system can't determine whether the rider is safely secured in the train, only that the bar has been moved to some predetermined position. It would be interesting to find out whether the system on the Giant can also identify whether the locking pawls are in their fully engaged positions or not.
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
My kids and I were just there -- in fact, we probably were on New Texas Giant ride a couple trains behind this accident. We're shaken. We were at Titan for our second ride after having ridden NTG for the second time, and before getting on Titan, we noticed EMS folks rolling in. Then after we got off the ride, they cleared everyone out of Titan and closed the area between NTG and Titan.
It could have been us. Sheesh. And to make things a bit more weird, we really liked the ride -- its very, very unique. Didn't like the lap bars, though. Gosh, why can't anyone just copy B&M lap bar restraints?
We planned to come back tomorrow, and I don't know if kids are up for that. Just sad.
And, this incident made me check B&M safety records and it does seem they have perfect safety record. Cedar Fair also seem to have better safety record than Six Flags?
Prayers are with the family for their loss.
My God, I am always horrified whenever I read a story like this. This unfortunate woman was riding the coaster with her family to have some fun. And she dies in a horrible way. It's just the worst kind of death to read about.
I think/feel like NTG used hydraulic restraints instead of ratchets. In any case, there aren't distinct clicks and you can adjust it analogly. Still sad and still hard to understand how it happens.Last edited by ApolloAndy, Saturday, July 20, 2013 7:42 AM
Anyone know how the NTG restraints compare to Outlaw Run and Iron Rattler? We were planning a trip to Branson next week for O.R...
Are they using that loading system that they were testing out earlier in the season, where the train never stops in the station? I imagine that system encourages the operators to be quick when checking restraints.
How did they get away without seatbelts in the first place? Does Iron Rattler have them?
New Texas Giant, Iron Rattler, and Outlaw Run all have Hydraulic restraint systems. However New Texas Giant and Iron Rattlers trains were both built by Gerstlauer where Outlaw Runs trains were built by RMC. This event should not effect Outlaw Runs operations.
BTW Silver Dollar City is my home park so if you'd like to meet up for a few rides I'd be happy to drop by! Either way if this is your first time make sure to do the cave! Its worth it!
As Dave pointed out earlier, each seat has a green go-no go light, so it was either an improperly checked restraint on a smaller sized person, a restraint failure or a restraint sensor failure.
Some reports claim that she requested extra "clicks" but if she was smaller, then she could have pulled it down farther herself.
None of this changes the fact that a family in in pain from this traumatic loss.
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