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There are roughly 30,000 amusement park-related injuries each year. The chance of being injured on a ride at a permanent U.S. amusement park is one in 16 million, compared to a one-in-700,000 chance of being struck by lightning.
Fatal accidents are even rarer ...the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that since 2010 there have been 22 fatalities caused by thrill rides. BUT, those are the ones that really grab the headlines:
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Disney.
September 2003, one man died and 10 people were injured when the open-passenger train cars separated from each other and the coaster came off its tracks. Riders were trapped in their cars in a cavern as emergency personnel worked to free them.
Investigators later determined that Disney staff did not follow proper maintenance procedures, which led to the accident.
You can still ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad today, though it has undergone some refurbishments since the tragic accident.
Marcelo Torres of Gardena bled to death on Disneyland's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, the Orange County Coroner's office announced.
Physicians performing the autopsy found that the 22-year-old suffered a massive blunt force trauma to the chest. Torres was sitting in the front passenger car of the roller coaster when it crashed last Friday morning at Disney's flagship park in Anaheim, Calif.
Roger Rabbit Car Toon Spin, Disneyland - Anaheim, CA
4-year-old boy fell from the moving coaster and became trapped under a car in September 2000. The boy suffered various internal injuries and brain damage and spent several weeks in a drug-induced coma after the accident.
A settlement reached between the family and Disney ensured that the victim's medical care would be covered for the rest of his life, but he ended up dying eight years later in 2009.
Disney installed doors and added skirt-like bumpers to the coaster’s cars following an investigation into the accident, which also found that the ride operator first called his supervisor rather than 9-1-1.
The Hydro, Oakwood Theme Park - Wales, Scotland
In 2004, Hayley Williams fell from her seat while riding the water roller coaster Hydro. She died of internal injuries, and her death was found to be due to negligence on the part of park workers who habitually failed to perform proper safety checks. This discovery led the amusement park to be fined £250,000.
And in order to escape the bad publicity associated with the ride, it was renamed “Drenched” after it reopened.
Fire Ball, Ohio State Fair
A swinging, spinning ride called the Fire Ball – located at the Ohio State Fair – malfunctioned in July 2017. The malfunction caused several people to get flung out of the ride, leading to one death and seven injuries:
Thunder River Rapids - Dreamworld, Australia
On October 25, 2016, four people were killed while riding the Thunder River Rapids Ride … two were flung from the ride while the other two victims were trapped underneath it and drowned after two rafts collided, causing one to flip over and trap the passengers it was carrying.
Roaring Rapids, Six Flags Over Texas
Again a raft on the Roaring Rapids ride flipped over while carrying 12 passengers in 1999. Ten people were injured, and one woman drowned in the incident. While they were in only four feet of water, the weight of the raft made it difficult for them to escape from underneath.
Also …Fairs have been a breeding ground Serial Killers
H.H. Holmes, was a con artist and bigamist who was one of America's first serial killers. Sometimes referred to as the "Beast of Chicago," Holmes is believed to have killed somewhere between 20 and 200 people. He killed many of his victims in a specially constructed home, which was later nicknamed the "Murder Castle." Apprehended in 1894, he was hanged for his crimes two years later.
Crystal McCahill joins the podcast to shed some light on Hugh Hefner and the playboy mansion …
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