Worker dies at La Ronde, struck by roller coaster train

Posted Friday, July 6, 2012 9:55 PM | Contributed by DaveStroem

Police say a man was struck and killed by "The Vampire" roller-coaster car at Montreal's La Ronde amusement park. The worker "inappropriately" entered a restricted zone near the roller coaster around midday, according to an email statement issued by La Ronde's company parent Six Flags.

Read more from The Montreal Gazette and The CBC.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012 3:25 PM
rollergator's avatar

Jeff said:

If you need to go into a low zone, you lock out the ride. I mean, in some places, you physically take the key with you.

That's the only way I'd have employees go into a lockout zone. Infinitely effective - no one can operate the ride while an employee has the key hundreds of feet away form the board.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012 9:24 PM
Jason Hammond's avatar

This appears to be how Carowinds opperates as an employee left the park with Boo Blasters locked out during ACE Convention on the night we were supposed to have ERT. It took about an hour to get him back to unlock it. In that circumstance, I'm wondering if it would be acceptable to cut the lock off once you knew the employee wasn't in the ride.


854 Coasters, 34 States, 7 Countries
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Thursday, July 26, 2012 4:32 AM

Where I currently work, the lock out standards say nobody ever removes the lock except for the employee that applied it, even if you know exactly where that person is and can account for everyone being clear. Not sure how they'd handle instances where, for example, the person performing the work gets hurt and has to go to the hospital (or dies even). Might be extreme, but it seems like the most effective way to institute a policy like that.


And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

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Thursday, July 26, 2012 9:08 AM
Fun's avatar

Timber-Rider said:

I was at Geauga Lake waiting in line for X-flight, when a ride operator did not wait for the "all clear" and sent a train out of the station with unsecured riders. You should have seen the yelling and screaming that came out of that! five crew members had to push the train by hand back to the station, and everyone had to exit the ride, so that they could reset it. The ride operator was of course removed from his position, and another guy on the platform took over. It was really scary, the cars were still in the upright position, with a full load of passengers! How could you miss something like that?!

Having worked on X-Flight, I can tell you your story doesn't hold water. You can't dispatch a train with unsecured seats. The train won't even recline unless each coach is fully secured. You can't dispatch a train unless two separate employees push their enable buttons. Granted I've seen someone's leg on top of the shin guard as opposed to under it, but for that we would just stop the train on the lift and fix it. That's far easier than pushing the train back into the station, which I have never seen anyone ever attempt.

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Thursday, July 26, 2012 2:00 PM

Yeah, I've never even operated a ride and his anecdote didn't sound very believable.


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Thursday, July 26, 2012 3:35 PM
kpjb's avatar

Timber-Rider seems to have been around when an uncanny number of issues occur.


Hi

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Thursday, July 26, 2012 3:53 PM
rollergator's avatar

^The same has been said about (Wet) Forrest Gump.

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Thursday, July 26, 2012 4:31 PM

Stop stealing my material, gator ;)


The amusement park rises bold and stark..kids are huddled on the beach in a mist

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Thursday, July 26, 2012 5:39 PM

CP Chris said:

Where I currently work, the lock out standards say nobody ever removes the lock except for the employee that applied it, even if you know exactly where that person is and can account for everyone being clear. Not sure how they'd handle instances where, for example, the person performing the work gets hurt and has to go to the hospital (or dies even). Might be extreme, but it seems like the most effective way to institute a policy like that.

In our factory, the maintenance supervisor has there own locks for use at shift change. So, at the end of shift,if machine is still locked out, the worker removes his lock and the sup puts his on until the next person comes to work on it.

I agree having saftey switches on the gates leading to low zones would help a lot. You wouldn't neccessarily need a camera. Once the switch is tripped, power to the ride would be killed. Only downside would be if the train had already disengaged from the lift. I run machines that have safety switches on gaurding around it which pervents machine from running while open.


Jerry - Magnum Fanatic
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Thursday, July 26, 2012 9:00 PM
Jeff's avatar

I think Raptor may have something in its low zones, or so someone suggested when the ride stopped with us on the lift the other day. Of course, it could have been a bird.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Thursday, July 26, 2012 9:11 PM
LostKause's avatar

In Timber-rider's defense, I DO remember in the news many. many years ago an instance reported in the news in which GL's X-Flight was cycled with the ride vehicles unlocked somehow, with them in the upright position instead of flying position. I don't remember specifics, except that riders where on the ride when it happened. It's probably why I am still scared to death when I ride it at KI.


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Thursday, July 26, 2012 10:13 PM

My guess in that case would be that the train cycled through in the upright position was empty and malfunctioning and the ride probably had to be put into maintenance mode to send it. In that case the train out on the course (likely in the block outside the station) probably had people in it.

Of course, that's just my best guess on that situation. I never heard of that happening and don't know what article is being referred to.


Original BlueStreak64

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Thursday, July 26, 2012 11:12 PM
Jeff's avatar

I wouldn't buy that scenario either. It's not like the operators wouldn't see it and e-stop the ride before it even got to the lift.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Thursday, July 26, 2012 11:41 PM

Last year I was on Raptor with my mom and the ride op didn't check our restraints. The train was dispatched with the two shoulder harnesses of the seats next to us in their up position. The train was stopped as our row approached the control booth and an op was called over to check our restraints. We were dispatched again and got stuck on the lift for about 15 mins. I don't know if getting stuck on the lift was related to the restraints or not.

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Friday, July 27, 2012 1:08 AM
LostKause's avatar

It was a news story right here on CoasterBuzz, as far as I recall. I wish I could remember more about it. I remember riders were on the ride, and partway through the ride, the seats unlocked and went in the upright position and riders had to ride it that way for the duration of the ride, or something. I think I remember that the park realized that a part on the train malfunctioned and simply needed to be replaced and checked often.

It was a small incident that happened around 2004 or 5, I think. I searched the internet for a trace of it happening but came up with nothing. Someone please remember more about it for me. :)


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Friday, July 27, 2012 1:12 AM

Anyone know if Kings Island Firehawk can be released in the upright position when it leaves the station then lower (as it was originally supposed to do) when going up the lift still? I've only seen them lower it in the station, but never on the lift down at Kings Island. I was just wondering if they ever tinkered around with those mechanics when they moved it.

I've gotten a few (meaning only 2) rides on the original X-flight when it lowered while going up the lift (I prefer it actually laying down going up...if you don't mind the sun, but if it lowers on the lift, I didn't feel that blood rush to the head when flipping over at the top.) I've seen many weird things with that ride testing, and people trying many things to get it to work right, lots of down time...not sure if it could go over with it being upright. One would think there would be many sensors to stop that...but I also know the many sensors also drove the team there crazy for not working right...not mention the on board computer stuff and parts. ;)

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Friday, July 27, 2012 8:34 AM
Jason Hammond's avatar

I think the only one ever capable of lowing on the way up the lift hill was Stealth at CGA which is now Nighthawk at Carowinds. I'm not sure if it ever opperated that way with passengers in California. I know it never did at Carowinds.


854 Coasters, 34 States, 7 Countries
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Friday, July 27, 2012 2:36 PM

The accident you're thinking of happened on Nighthawk at Carowinds in 2007. An employee pushed a button unlocking the seats mid-ride and the train stopped at the base of the loop.

Last edited by Amnesiac, Friday, July 27, 2012 2:38 PM
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Friday, July 27, 2012 3:08 PM
LostKause's avatar

YEEEAAAAAAHHHHHH! Thanks Amnesiac!


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Friday, July 27, 2012 3:52 PM
HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar

I rode SFA's Batwing in 2002 and its the only time I've ridden the Vekoma Flyer where the seats reclined on the lift, and came back up at the final brake run. It was super comfortable, but I could see it being a very complex feature to execute.

Are the reclining seats even motorized anymore? The way I see Firehawk running, the seats are raised and lowered in the station with a mechanism that goes around a wheel on the sides of each seat row. I'm sure someone more familiar with that setup could answer that.

~Rob

Last edited by HeyIsntThatRob?, Friday, July 27, 2012 3:52 PM
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