October 2021 Monthly Ride Report Recap

Despite increasing business volumes as the industry recovers from pandemic closures, the “summer” season in the northern hemisphere has concluded, and there were few media reports about ride accidents. Just four (4) new cases were reported, along with updates on a few previous cases.

Date of last update: 09 November 2021.

09 October 2021 at Plopsaqua Landen-Hannuit, a waterpark in Belgium, a man in the catch pool at the conclusion of the Wild River waterslide was rescued from submersion. He had reportedly stumbled and shook his arm prior to submerging. His family contended that the rescue was not prompt enough. Link | Link

26 October 2021, at the carnival Expo Feria Guadelupe (Mexico), a sky ride gondola tower collapsed, dropping riders from over 3m, injuring two adults and two children. Dozens of others were reportedly on board the attraction. A 19-year old employee was reportedly arrested. Link

28 October 2021 at a carnival in Itu, Brazil, a rider was fatally injured when he stood. The media coverage depicts an “Avalanche” style ride themed as “Superman”. On this style of ride, riders are seated on a long bench with their back to the scenery, and the entire bench is rotated vertically around an axis perpendicular to the scenery. The report appears to indicate that the injured rider had raised the restraint (which may be a shared restraint and should be mechanically interlocked with the ride cycle) and stood. According to one account, the operator stopped the ride and the standing rider lost his balance and fell and was crushed by the ride. The deceased’s brother contended that the operator did not stop the ride. Other riders were also injured, possibly when exiting the ride to aid him. Link

30 October 2021, at a carnival in Bolivia, two riders fell about 4m from a Ferris wheel, reportedly sustaining moderate injury. It is not clear from the translated report whether the seat detached or the restraint device opened. Link

Reports from previous periods

A fatal injury in a trampoline park in British Columbia in 2018 has led to new regulations in BC. This new type of attraction venue has fallen between the regulatory cracks in many jurisdictions, despite the evident potential for extremely serious harm. ASTM Committee F24 has issued standard practices for safe design and operation of these facilities, but standards only have force and effect if adopted by regulation and code in jurisdictions. Link | Link
Illinois is also adopting regulatory oversight of trampoline park facilities. Note that the key art in the article in the following link illustrates an anonymous patron performing the same manoeuvre that the deceased was reportedly doing in the B.C. case in the previous link. Link

In connection with litigation, there was media coverage of a 2019 injury to a waterslide rider ejected from a tube on the Tornado at Six Flags’ Hurricane Harbor (US NJ). The lawsuit contends she was placed inappropriately and could not hold the required position, resulting in injuries that required surgery and have limited her subsequent mobility. Link

Water pressure in water attractions are also being limited in Ohio under a new regulation in response to serious injuries sustained in November 2019, when a 7-year old girl sustained lacerations from abnormally high pressure water spray. Link

On the fifth anniversary of the 2016 river raft accident at Dreamworld in Australia, in which four people died, this event was revisited in the media. Link

Excluded reports

While reports arising from trespassing are excluded, reports may be linked for convenience. Two adults (one a mid-40s woman described as a “gran”) sustained leg injuries after breaking in to a waterpark and sliding down a waterslide in England. Despite bringing water to speed the slide, they did not verify that the slide path was unobstructed, sustaining fractures on impact. Alcohol was reportedly involved. Link

Summary reports

The Florida 2021 Q3 report was released. See this page for a listing of all FL Quarterly reports.

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About Kathryn Woodcock

Dr. Kathryn Woodcock is Professor at Toronto Metropolitan University, teaching, researching, and consulting in the area of human factors engineering / ergonomics particularly applied to amusement rides and attractions (https://thrilllab.blog.ryerson.ca), and to broader occupational and public safety issues of performance, error, investigation and inspection, and to disability and accessibility.