November 2021 Monthly Ride Report Recap

Five (5) ride accidents were reported in the month of November 2021, with additional coverage of five occurrences in prior periods, and two reports out of scope for the RRRR database but which may be of interest.

Date of last update 3 December 2021.

11 November 2021 a 10 year old boy in his go-kart became stuck under a guardrail, and was freed by first responders, and checked out at hospital as a precaution. While ideally riders avoid collisions with guardrails, track curvature challenges drivers’ reaction time as karts are driven at their fastest speed. To avoid collisions and departures from the track, as well as carefully matching maximum kart speed to driver age/experience, guardrails shouldn’t allow karts to even partially go beyond them. Link

20 November 2021, two nearby guests observed a five-year-old girl floating face down in the pool at Adventure World in Australia. The park management described her as “unsupervised”, contrary to park policy requiring guardian supervision for children under 12. She was resuscitated onsite and taken to hospital by ambulance, in critical condition. Reports on the case underscore the importance of responsible supervision of children in and around water. Link | Link

24 November 2021, Fuji-Q Highland in Japan disclosed that the 50m gondola wheel had been dispatched on the ride cycle with an open door on one four-person-capacity gondola containing two riders (aged 10, 19). No injury or fall occurred, but the apparent misoperation was disclosed in response to the obvious hazard, in view of recent public concerns about the park (see below, “Excluded reports”). The ride reportedly has an alarm that sounds when a gondola door is closed but not locked, but this sensor is not activated if the door is actually open. Link

24 November 202, a 15 year old girl was ejected from a Himalaya style ride at a fair in Mexico. While there are strong forces on this horizontally revolving ride, they are controlled by secure restraint and containment devices. The media coverage did not report on whether the restraint devices were present, intact, secured, and a good fit for the rider who was ejected. Link

27 November 2021, two riders (aged 23 and 15) were ejected from a Tagadà ride in Nicaragua. It is unclear whether the ride was operating at a fixed site or mobile carnival. The unrestrained riding position and turbulent ride action of this model of ride is not found in many regions of the world, as it would not meet international safety standards. Link

Reports of injury in previous periods

Events occurring in prior periods receive media coverage for various reasons, often because of litigation milestones (claims filed, decision reached), anniversaries of notable events, and references arising from recent similar events. 

Media outlets covered litigation filed in connection to a patron that sustained a cervical dissection, stroke, and other debilitating injuries attributed to what they characterized as a rough ride on the Adventure Express roller coaster at King’s Island (US OH) 2019 October 13. Link | Link

Reporting on the removal of a ride from Skara Sommarland, in Sweden, media attributed this change to an injury 15 July 2021 in which a 10-year-old boy was caught under the turntable of a “break dance” type horizontally revolving ride. In this type of ride, ride vehicles revolve around satellite hubs on a sloping turntable, and the turntable revolves in the opposite direction around a centre, producing interesting motions. The ride vehicle has open sides for entry and exit, with lap bars preventing patrons from exiting during the ride cycle. The media report described the lap bar as having been left open due to misoperation. Photos of the ride show theming that may have obstructed easy view of the lap bar status. Link | Link | Link

A penalty was announced for a fatal strangulation that had occurred in 2018 at a go-kart operation in Toronto. A driver’s scarf had become entangled with the kart’s rear axle. In announcing the fine, the regulator said that entanglement of loose articles and hair was a known hazard, which owners and their operation personnel were required to mitigate. Link

Media reported on calls for a better investigation of a fatal injury at VGP Universal Kingdom in India in 2016, in which two riders were ejected from a Wave Swinger, one of whom died in hospital. Link

Updates were made to the July 2021 river raft report.

Excluded reports

Riders stuck on stopped rides are popular topics for human-interest stories. A tall swing carousel in Blackpool (UK) was stopped with riders at elevation, likely due to a brief interruption of power. Riders were lowered after eight minutes, scarcely longer than it took to read the article. Link

Also excluded are media reports that cover multiple cases without specifics of each case. The August recap linked to a report in Newsweek covering multiple orthopaedic injuries associated with the Do-Dodonpa roller coaster at Fuji-Q Highland park in Japan. This month, MSN has reported on an update with six additional serious injuries on this attraction and several minor injuries on this and other rides. The serious injuries included fractured ribs and compressed lumbar fracture, diagnosed only after leaving the park. The interval between reports (22 August and 22 November, three months apart) suggests both stories were drawn from a quarterly report but neither media report provides a link. Link

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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 (, and to broader occupational and public safety issues of performance, error, investigation and inspection, and to disability and accessibility.