ComplexAudio99 wrote:the reason why the op was on the phone was to call emergency services, and to ask about a cord that was flying about.
She shouldn't have had to call to ask if the wire flying around was dangerous; she should have stopped the ride as soon as she saw it.
ComplexAudio99 wrote:I also find it interesting that the facts aren't straight, especially with the part about yelling "Stop the Ride". In one area it says one of the ride ops yelled it.... but in another area it says only the passengers said it
Nowehere does the report say that only the girls were screaming. It says that both the girls and an op were yelling for the ride to be stopped, and the Main Operator purposefully decided not to.
ComplexAudio99 wrote:The phrase "stop the ride" is a phrase taken lightly at theme parks. I have been on many rides were various riders yell "I'm gonna die", "Help me, Help me", or even "Stop the Ride".
There's a difference between one or two riders jokingly yelling things like 'Stop the ride' and a group of people all frantically screaming 'Stop the ride!' Judging from the report, the latter was closer to what happened.
To me, this just goes to show that even in cases where the fault is mechanical, human intervention could have stopped the accident.
I can understand the idea of being frozen in fear or hesitation after seeing the cable snap but the ride is still crawling upward during the cycle. That surely seems safer than the unknown of what would happen of letting it all go, the forces multiplying to that of the intensity of gravity taking over. We know what happened but with this snapped cable now presenting a cycle not seen before out of safety E-stop should have been pressed as soon as possible.
In reading over the past couple of pages of posts, there are quite a few points I would like to address-as a theme park enthusiast, a former park employee (PKI in the late 90s) and (most importantly) as a MOM!
I have observed many times over the years, ride ops "do their thing" (check restraints, close gates, etc) and then push the button and go on about their business (which can include talking horsing around with coworkers). In many cases they are not watching the actual operation of the ride. The question I have is this... shouldn't that be a requirement? I have been in wave pools and lazy rivers in the same park's water areas and the lifeguards are required not to take their eyes off the water. Shouldn't it be the same for rides?
To that, I agree with two points made in earlier posts #1...if every time a patron yelled "Stop the ride", nothing would operate. From punk kids horsing around, to scared girls dragged onto rides by friends or boyfriends, I have been in line for many rides where I have heard someone yell this out in jest... however #2, a loose cable hanging from a ride COMBINED with anyone yelling to stop the ride should have resulted in an immediate e-stop. A loose thing on ANY ride, in my opinion, is worthy of a stop and a call to maintainance. I cannot fathom that if the ride ops were paying attention to the rides ascent and saw the broken cable that there would not have been time to stop the ride and prevent this tragedy.
On the subject of politicians futhering their career by pushing for the regulation of amusement parks, and the involvement of the Feds, I challenge whoever was offended by the mere suggestion to find me a politician who doesn't enjoy TV face time to get his or her cause du jour out to the media. Please! Have you not seen three people named Hillary, Obama and John?? Of course they have ideas and plans that would improve the lives of the general public, but they are also furthering their careers. Any congressman, senator or other public official who can put a family on tv such as the Lasiters and rally the GP around the cause will do it in a heartbeat.
Sadly, the bottom line here, to me, is that there are probably far too many ride ops out there like the young people at SFKK who are either A) not paying attention or B) ill-prepared to react in an emergency, or both.
It's a shame this happened, but unfortunately this is how accidents do happen.
^ The requirement at KI when I worked there (03-04) was to watch the ride at ALL times when it is in motion. The ride operator CANNOT ever answer a phone, or make a phone call while the ride is in motion. If there is ANYTHING out of the ordinary during a ride cycle (which is easy, because you hear the same sounds and see the same things thousands of times a summer during normal operations) the stressed course of action is Hit the E-Stop and only THEN can you get on a phone to call in a problem.
This accident was caused by a faulty or misinspected cable, but could have been a much milder incident (not still being talked about a season later) if the ride operator had been doing her job correctly.
disneygurlz2s wrote:I have observed many times over the years, ride ops "do their thing" (check restraints, close gates, etc) and then push the button and go on about their business (which can include talking horsing around with coworkers). In many cases they are not watching the actual operation of the ride. The question I have is this... shouldn't that be a requirement?
It most definitely is a requirement, especially on drop towers. You're supposed to watch the entire cycle from the second it leaves the ground, until coming back down to unload.
First, a cable shouldn't go 6 months or a couple years without being replaced, inspected, etc. You'd think a good ride mechanic would know that. You'd also think a ride op should know as soon as she see a cable snap, to hit the e-stop. Like someone else on here stated, it doesn't take a genius when you're an op for more than a month to know what's normal and whats not, especially on drop towers.
I know some of the newest ops in certain parks work drop towers because they're pretty much faulty proof rides and they're the easiest to run. Maybe that played a factor in this girls reaction time as well.
Welcome To Magic Mountain. Cheer up, you could be at Knotts!
I would have done what every employee should know very well to do: e-stop the ride. At Adventureland, we have emergency procedures in three places: the phone box, the control panel, and the rides manual, and Adventureland could be doing a heck of a lot more with employee safety training, so I consider that a basic requirement. It's very clear in all three of these places that the first thing you do, always, is STOP THE RIDE. There is no excuse whatsoever for failing to use the emergency stop function during an accident if you time, and ten seconds is ample time.
So I think there were two possibilities here: either the employee did not know where the e-stop button was or the employee was not properly trained. Obviously, improper training is sort of unacceptable at an amusement park and especially on a ride of this size, and the e-stop button is supremely easy to locate, given that it's enormous and red (and may even be labeled "E-Stop" or "Emergency Stop"). I think it's probably more likely that the employee's training was bad, and that is a direct reflection of the quality of the park's operations.
No matter how you spin it, the park screwed up big time.
ComplexAudio99 wrote: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.
Except that one of the ride operators was on the phone with the park's emergency line trying to convince them that there was a problem during those 10 seconds. Instead of picking up the phone and trying to convince the operator that there was an emergency, she should've pressed the big red button next to the phone.
From the report:
Statement of Main Ride Operator to the KDA 12 [Synopsis – not verbatim]
The group of three girls rode the ride once without incident. When that ride cycle had ended, the girls got to ride again because there was no line. I remember the same three seats were used the second trip. The seats were checked and the all clear was given. The ride went up.
After about two seconds I heard a noise like a rollercoaster chain clack. The ride was about eight feet off the ground. When I looked up the cord came out; the cord was flying about. The noise and the cable coming out happened at the same time.
I called #3333; the park phone number for emergencies. The person answering the phone asked what was going on.
I reached my head out and around the operator station while I was explaining the situation to the lady on the phone. I told the lady on the phone that the guests were screaming. I was not sure what the people on the ride were screaming due to the volume of noise in the park.
The lady on the phone said it was normal for riders to scream. I said the screaming was totally different this time because all the riders were screaming.
I can’t remember what the lady on the telephone was saying. I could see the top of the ride. The other ride operator, at the other panel, told me to hit Estop.
I hit Estop, but the ride came down normally.
The button should've been pushed as SOON as she heard the noise and saw the cable. Better safe than sorry. Frankly, if I ran the park, if the operator on any non-coaster ride picks up the phone during a ride cycle, the ride should E-Stop automatically.
DISCLAIMER: Any information about rides presented here as fact has been taken from publicly available sources. The author readily admits that the rides may have been implemented differently than stated in the such sources. Any opinion statements are based on the author’s experience as a mechanical engineer and are not based on any insider knowledge or the wish to contradict those with such knowledge.
I didn't want to start a whole new thread on this since this deals a little with this thread already. Here is a video that Yahoo Video has playing from ABC news. It talks about how the parks and designers are trying to push the envelope on coasters, and how lawmakers are trying to push on safety. It has some footage of Kaitlyn Lasitter and some really good video shots of coasters!!
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