Worst Coaster Crash?

Monday, April 15, 2002 8:32 AM
What was the worst Roller Coaster crash ever, Im trying to do a report on Roller Coaster safety and I need 100% true facts. (This is only about roller coasters not haunted houses, thrill rides etc.)

*** This post was edited by NITROman on 4/15/2002. ***

Monday, April 15, 2002 8:36 AM
CPLady's avatar I don't remember the name of the coaster...but the crash I've heard the most about was the coaster at the Mall of America. Maybe someone else with a better memory can provide more details

I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead

Monday, April 15, 2002 8:36 AM
That would be that awful, awful coaster collision in the UK many years ago where the anti-rollback failed and the train came crashing down the lift hill, killing several, injuring many. I don't recall all the details, but I'm sure someone here knows exactly what I am talking about.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Monday, April 15, 2002 8:40 AM

I know to what you refer Dave. It was a wooden coaster and it happened many MANY years ago. There is news footage of it and a keen (but sadistic)eye can find periodicals with really gruesome pictures if they so desire.

The trains were essentially shattered and people smashed and tossed all over.

I recall the news footage interviewing children that survived it. They were in horrible shock.

The thought of such possibilities is what makes me a fan of safety systems, and overly cautios parks.


A.K.A. John K.

Monday, April 15, 2002 8:44 AM
8 died last year on the same coaster in Iran but there is little safety regulations there it happend 8/9/01.

Army Rangers lead the way

*** This post was edited by supermandl on 4/15/2002. ***

Monday, April 15, 2002 8:48 AM
Kick The Sky's avatar Wasn't the worst one the Mindbender accident at Edmonton Mall?

Bob Hansen

Bolliger/Mabillard for President/VP 2004

Monday, April 15, 2002 8:49 AM

CPLady said:
I don't remember the name of the coaster...but the crash I've heard the most about was the coaster at the Mall of America. Maybe someone else with a better memory can provide more details

Ripsaw at the Mall of America has never crashed and has a perfect safety record. A while back the on the log ride at the Mall of America someone decided it'd be smart to try and jump out of the log just before one of the drops and ended up killing himself (This is why you'll see ride ops all over the actual flume ride now)

Mindbender at the West Edmonton mall in Canada did have a fatal accident however where, and someone correct me if I'm wrong, someone fell out of the coaster while it was going through one of its loops. Perhaps that's the one you're thinking about CPLady.

Excalibur Crew for 2002!

Monday, April 15, 2002 8:56 AM

Valleyfair is right, I do believe it was the Mindbender at the Edmonton Mall. There was a forum on here a while ago where there was a picture showing the train half way up the loop with the last car coming off the track and a body covered with a sheet on the floor. it was really sad.

I am all for safety. I love coasters, but I am not willing to die for them.

As far as the worst coaster crash ever goes, I am sure it is one of the earlier ones when they were still expierenmenting with the idea of a roller coaster.

Monday, April 15, 2002 8:57 AM
The worst crash that I know of was, in fact, that of Mindbender, at Galaxyland Amusement Park inside the West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Canada. In 1986, a year after the coaster opened, three people were killed when the wheel assemblies of the last car sheered off, sending the car flying off the track and into a concrete pillar, smarshing it like an accordian and killing all three passengers instantly. While the mall blamed Schwarzkopf (the ride's designer) for the accident, Schwarzkopf Coaster Net author Michael Patenburg defends the late Schwarzkopf saying:

- The mall did not follow a government order to physically check the cars, they only used visual inspections

- Because of the hands-off approach the mall used, several of the bolts were loose when the trains began operation, so it was only a matter of time before an accident happened

- The operations manual was never translated from German to English

For additional information regarding this particular incident, consult http://www.ultimaterollercoaster.com/ and http://schwarzkopf.coaster.net/ which has a little info, as well as a great deal of information about Schwarzkopf. This incident was truly saddening, especially because it could have been prevented. I don't have a picture of it, but I would think you wouldn't need one. Hope that helps


*** This post was edited by BBSpeed26 on 4/15/2002. ***

Monday, April 15, 2002 9:33 AM

The Mindbender accident was the worst in North America in the last 30 years. The anti-rollback failure on a mouse at the Jersey shore resulting in 2 deaths in '99 was the only rollercoaster accident in the US with more than one fatality in the last 30 years.

Before that the records aren't as complete. I would think that there were probably some bad ones in the 20's when 1000+ roller coasters were running, many of them built by very inexperienced designers and manufacturers. Of course, in some parts of the world, it is difficult to get information about even recent accidents. Last year's crash in Iran is a good example.

Monday, April 15, 2002 10:07 AM

The first two are supposed to be the biggest:

"13 people were injured when a roller coaster car derailed, apparently from mechanical failure at an amusement park. One boy struck his head and neck against a harness."
Kansas City, MO, 1999

-"Between 30 and 35 people at an amusement park were injured when a train roller coaster struck another train. None of the injuries were life-threatening."
Pittsburgh, PA, 1999

"A bounce-type amusement ride was picked up off the ground by a gust of wind or dust devil and carried through the air for about 35-50 feet. Several children who were in the ride suffered injuries when it landed back on the ground."
Scottsdale, AZ, 1998

"A girl, age 17, was hospitalized for a fractured tailbone, and 13 others were injured when a roller coaster came to an abrupt halt during operation."
Wildwood, NJ, 1998

"A 20-foot-high inflatable air slide lifted up and rolled over when one of two ropes tied to the air slide broke. Eleven children ages 4-11, and the 23-year-old male operator, were injured when they were thrown or fell off the air slide...The operator was treated and released. The 8-year-old male was hospitalized..."
Sacramento, CA, 1997

"A mechanical swing amusement ride malfunctioned and toppled over at a local county festival. A 37-year-old male was hospitalized w/injuries. Females ages 5, 8, 12, and 13 were treated/released w/cuts and bruises. One possibly for a broken elbow."
Hollywood, FL, 1997

"A boy, age 12, was one of three victims injured when a roller coaster car wheel jumped the track at an amusement park."
Suffolk, NY, 1997

"A 14-year-old male was killed and 6 others injured when the ride car they were in, at the bottom of an incline of a local amusement park's roller coaster, was slammed by a descending car from the top of the incline after its anti-rollback mechanism failed."
Tulsa, OK, 1997

"A girl, age 8, and her mother, age 39, were both killed and 2 other people were injured when they were apparently thrown from a roller coaster while riding in the car that slipped backward and crashed into another car being loaded to begin the ride."
Ocean City, NJ, 1999

"An amusement park ride's coupling broke between two cars. 17-year-old female was thrown out of the ride. She died of head and internal injuries. 8 others injured."
New York, NY, 1999

"A woman, age 28, drowned during a water ride at an amusement park when her raft tipped over. 11 people were injured. Victims may have had difficulty getting their seat belts off."
Arlington, TX, 1999

"Bolts of amusement ride sheared off from the primary lock mechanism. 3 people were thrown from the ride to the pavement. They were hospitalized."
Jennings, MO, 1999

These are only some of the more recent major amusement park accidents, according to stats, the most victims of amusement park accident have been in New Jersey in the past 10 years, following behind are Pennsylvania, Illinois, and California. For the ratio between amount of parks compared to accidents, Florida has been the safest state.

*** This post was edited by Vertigo on 4/15/2002. ***

Monday, April 15, 2002 10:16 AM
I'm not trying to nit-pick, but, to be courteous, you should give credit to you source for that info.

*** This post was edited by bigboy on 4/15/2002. ***

Monday, April 15, 2002 10:21 AM

here is that picture of the crash on mindbender, remember, you can see a dead body in this picture, so dont look at it if you dont like that kinda stuff:


Monday, April 15, 2002 10:22 AM

The UK incident was as Battersea Amusement park (London) in (I think) 1971. The lift mechanism untilised a cable which snapped and sent the train crashing back down into the station.

There were several fatalities, and I don't think the ride ever operated again.

Monday, April 15, 2002 10:24 AM
i know this is on roller coasters, but dont forget about perilous plunge!
Monday, April 15, 2002 12:08 PM

The Battersea Park accident was on the Big Dipper, and it resulted in the parks closure.

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Monday, April 15, 2002 12:17 PM
rollergator's avatar Those inflatable rides were on the news the other day, apparently they're getting a bit of a bad rep for blowing away from their "moorings". Makes me wonder how the guys securing the rides ever got the knot-tying badge in Boy Scouts...

Any resemblance between this post and humor is purely coincidental. No robots were harmed in the filming of this episode...The sarcasm filter default has been left ON for your enjoyment.

Monday, April 15, 2002 4:01 PM
More likely, they convinced themselves that it was a calm day, and they didn't need to use the tie downs. Or, they thought that a cinder block or two was suitable for lashing them to rather than proper stakes or screws.
Monday, April 15, 2002 6:54 PM
Oh my, that Mindbender picture sent chills down my spine. That kind of stuff is interesting but disturbing. Thank god that kind of thing doesn't happen frequently.
Those who think young say Pepsi please!
Monday, April 15, 2002 7:11 PM
Mindbender was a wheel failure that derailed the train as it came around a corner, throwing the carriage out into a support, which destroyed the bar release mechanism -- releasing the restraints. This, combined with the impact and -- I think -- one passenger impacting another support on the way down, lead to at least 2 fatalies and 1 serious injury.

Then there was the UK one.


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