I agree with both sides of this argument, I don't think there is any reason why we shouldn't be trying to make rides as safe as possible, safer rides is a good thing for all of us, however, rides are already safer than many other things in this world so i think people getting sue-happy could cause a lot of problems for the industry and spoil the ride experience for all of us!
So I can see both sides of the argument, but really this was just a very unfortunate accident, just like a plane crash or car crash or falling down the stairs, could it have been prevented? probably, but it's much easier to criticize in hindsight!
Oh, and I know baiting mods is bad, but I just thought it was amusing that you didn't use the spellchecker on that response!
From Screamscape: 5/30/08 - UPDATE: According to the local news the report for last summer’s Superman: Tower of Power accident has been released and they are placing the blame on both a “faulty cable and slow response by the amusement park ride operator as the largest factors in the accident”. “"In the KDA's opinion, the injuries to the ride patrons probably would have been limited to cuts and scrapes had the emergency stop button been pressed, in accordance with training," the report said. “A loud noise and screams from passengers to stop the ride gave the operator enough time to halt it and avoid serious injuries”.
What's crazy is that the ride op had roughly 10 seconds to react to pressing the E-stop. It doesn't sound like a lot until you count it out aloud to yourself. From the report:
"Inspectors from the KDA timed the travel of the passenger car starting at 45 feet from the ground (the approximate position of the loud noise) and ending during the approximately two second pause at the top of the tower before the freefall (where depressing the emergency stop function would not have stopped the ride) as being at least 10 seconds."
I honestly couldn't tell you what I'd do in that position. I do know when working at an automatic carwash we had an employee jump into a car while on the rollers too early, got his foot stuck in the door and I slapped the E-stop button on it so that the door wouldn't hit the dryers and smash his ankle in the door jam. If I had to guess I would have had about 5-10 seconds to react and I was 16 at the time. However I should note that carwash rollers move at a blazing speed of .5 mph compared to S:ToP which moves 100 times faster.
It sucks all around, my heart goes out to the girl and her family.
I think that in this special case, the family is completely justified in its anger, but only really at its anger at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom itself. Beyond that, they are blowing it totally out of proportion, assuming that every park is always handled the same way as SFKK, which, as we all know well, is far from the truth. I whole-heartedly support parks being as strict as they need to be about safety, but I don't think that this girl understand how awful KK really was in comparison to other parks. I was there the day of the accident, and with the way things were running, I was amazed that something had not happened sooner.
What I find interesting is that they expected the ride ops to press the button in 10 seconds. I find it even more ironic that they expected the operator to distinguish the sound from the cable snap, to the regular click before the car is released. I found it even more ludicrous that they should also have known from the screaming that something is wrong, even though almost every ride on a drop tower is filled with screams... And also they use the word probably, so how would they have known that the girl only would've suffered from scrapes and cuts if the e-stop button was pushed.
I feel bad for the girl and all, but most of all for the ride operator, who will be faced with this incident for the rest of her life. The victim is truly the ride operator, not the girl whose feet got cut off. She is given a second chance to live her life, but the ride op's already has a mark on her permanent record, until the day she dies.
They can try and make the rides as safe as they can, but in reality there will always be that one incident that no one could've expected.
^ yeah, I'd feel worse for her if the ride op wasn't ON THE PHONE while the ride was operating! I know that was grounds for immediate termination at King's Island when I worked there. This is highly unsafe and I think a rule enforced at almost all major themeparks. The ride operator should only be focusing on the ride itself when the ride is in motion! Also when people around are screaming "Stop the Ride!", you should probably err on the side of caution.
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