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  • News Coaster Accident at Knotts Berry Farm

    The Orange County Register is reporting at around 4pm on Wednesday September 16th, a cable on the Roller Coaster "Xcelerator" snapped injuring 2 people. While the injuries weren't serious (a 12 year old boy suffered a laceration on his leg and one man complained of back pain), Knotts has announced that the ride will be closed indefinitely while an investigation determines what caused the cable’s failure.

    Knott’s spokeswoman Jennifer Blazey, said the ride had just left the boarding station when the cable broke free. The train rolled backward toward the station where riders started screaming for help once they noticed smoke coming from under the cars. The cable in question was replaced in December and was due to bereplaced after a year of use.

    As luck would have it, a video was being shot while the accident occured.

    For more on this story and to see the video please go to Knott’s Xcelerator ride injures two - Around Disney - OCRegister.com
    Last edited by OogieBoogie; 09-18-2009, 12:17 PM.
    Growing older is manditory
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  • #2
    Re: Coaster Accident at Knotts Berry Farm

    Wow.


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    • #3
      Re: Coaster Accident at Knotts Berry Farm

      Video is no longer there. That's sad, I was hoping to get a ride on Xcelerator next week. Haven't ridden one of my favorite rides in a couple of years.

      Here is a link with the video ... pretty scary.

      http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/lo...-59751017.html

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Coaster Accident at Knotts Berry Farm

        Intamin strikes again.
        www.gregscoasterphotos.com <- Go there, it's good!

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        • #5
          Re: Coaster Accident at Knotts Berry Farm

          Note, the safety systems worked just the way there were designed.

          The ride was a "short shot" since the car didn't get enough speed, the car went backwards and the braking system kicked in, preventing any major injuries.

          On the video, you can see some stuff fly up, not sure if that was some of the fiberglass from the artistic parts of the ride vehicle, but that is my best guess.

          But no major injuries and things worked the way things are supposed to. Cables and lift chains break on a regular basis on Roller Coasters. Disneyland has had its share of unplanned ride closures for a few days while they wait for shipment of a replacement chain, and then installation.

          Rides are mechanical, and things break. Safety systems are in place to make sure that when it happens, people don't get hurt. (Alas, something don't go correctly, such as the major BTMRR failure).

          But I for one will be looking forward to riding Xcelerator again when it reopens.
          Check out my Theme Park Photos at http://darkbeer.smugmug.com

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          • #6
            Re: Coaster Accident at Knotts Berry Farm

            Yes, many of the safety systems prevented this from being a more serious incident. But I think "things working the way they're supposed to" is a bit of a stretch. Wear and tear is normal, but when it results in a malfunction and sends people to the hospital, it warrants serious investigation.

            But beyond this, my concern is the absurd history Intamin has with this sort of thing, and how they (and parks, apparently) are willing to compromise safety and proper design. It would be one thing if this were an isolated incident. It's unfortunately nothing of the sort.
            www.gregscoasterphotos.com <- Go there, it's good!

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            • #7
              Re: Coaster Accident at Knotts Berry Farm

              My biggest concern with a cable break like that would have been damage to the brake mechanism that hits the brake fins on the track. Obviously that wasn't an issue.

              But safety wise, the ride performed just as it should have. Short-shot, back into the station slowly. Obviously the cable didn't work properly, or it wouldn't have broken.

              That said, I will have no problem riding Xcelerator (or any other rocket coaster) once it opens again.

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              • #8
                Re: Coaster Accident at Knotts Berry Farm

                Originally posted by sarki7 View Post
                Wear and tear is normal, but when it results in a malfunction and sends people to the hospital, it warrants serious investigation.
                I wouldn't say these are serious injuries, back pain tends to be a common aliment from folks in accidents, and many times are proven to be minor and temporary, even though many folks sue all the time for it.

                And the second injury is a cut that might have needed stitches. Many ER's see these on a regular basis, and many health plans send patients to urgent care instead, because all you need is a doctor who can clean up the cut and make a decision on if it needs stitches, or some of the newer types of devices that hold cuts togethers, such as using super glue.

                Indiana Jones ride has sent many guests to the hospital over the years, should it close down?

                California law will have DOSH inspect the ride, and it will remain closed until the state signs off on the ride. But I don't see it remaining closed for long.
                Check out my Theme Park Photos at http://darkbeer.smugmug.com

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                • #9
                  Re: Coaster Accident at Knotts Berry Farm

                  I think it will be closed for awhile just for the fact they weren't planning on needing a new cable until December.

                  If it's open within the next week I'd be surprised. And I'm sure that train is going to need some work as well. So even if it does open, it will probably be at 1 train operation for awhile.

                  I would still like to know how the video got out. I know they film that BrainRush thing there, but that would seem HIGHLY coincidental that it just happened to happen on one of their rides. From what I recall, Xcelerator does have one of those "buy a video of your ride" things, but there is NO WAY Knott's would have allowed them to buy that video. Which would mean it was leaked by an employee. Big no-no.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Coaster Accident at Knotts Berry Farm

                    I didn't say the injuries were serious, I suggested that the investigation look closely - specifically at the underlying design issues that has led to this incident happening time and time again on Intamin coasters and rides.

                    If a flaw in Indiana Jones' maintenance or design led to repeated guest injuries, it should absolutely be closed down. I imagine most incidents with IJ are the common slip and fall, pre-existing, or rider error that plague many of Disney's attractions. Considering that, it's not really analogous to this malfunction.

                    I agree, it will probably be blamed on normal wear and tear, maybe even on the manufacturer of the cable (as was the case at Kentucky Kingdom). It just confounds me that Intamin is seemingly never forced to take account of their pathetic safety record.
                    Last edited by sarki7; 09-18-2009, 01:43 PM.
                    www.gregscoasterphotos.com <- Go there, it's good!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Coaster Accident at Knotts Berry Farm

                      Originally posted by Darkbeer View Post
                      Note, the safety systems worked just the way there were designed.
                      The safety system is designed to have debris and hot hydraulic fluid sprayed in the faces of riders? Doesn't sound very safe to me.

                      How about when the cable snapped in Kentucky and severed a little girls feet off? Was that safety system functioning as designed?

                      Intamin has a VERY POOR safety record. I would be very cautious on any Intamin ride. Including California Screamin at Disneyland which has had its own accidents.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Coaster Accident at Knotts Berry Farm

                        Despite my confusion over how Intamin always seems to avoid blame even though it alone is the common thread in over a dozen accidents (many of which involve deaths or serious dismemberment) - it seemed as though they were off the hook with Cal Screaming thanks to the "warrant-voiding" post purchase modifications Disney did. I'm not 100% familiar with the incident, so maybe someone else can explain how Intamin is off the hook for that one.
                        www.gregscoasterphotos.com <- Go there, it's good!

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                        • #13
                          Re: Coaster Accident at Knotts Berry Farm

                          First, from 2001

                          Disney Settles Indiana Jones Ride Lawsuit - Los Angeles Times


                          Novack, who also handled the Jacob case, said more study needs to be done regarding brain injuries and roller coasters.
                          "The facts and circumstances concerning serious injuries have to be accurately recorded and reported," Novack said. "As more brain bleeds become apparent as a result of ride dynamics, the public has to be informed that there is a risk of serious injury even [for] the unsuspecting and unknowing rider."
                          Disneyland officials said they did not make any changes to the Indiana Jones ride as a result of Bynum's lawsuit and maintain that it is safe.
                          and from last year (2008)

                          Settlement in Disneyland lawsuit


                          The family of a Spanish woman who died two months after riding the Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland has settled a wrongful death lawsuit with The Walt Disney Co, the family's lawyer said.

                          Cristina Moreno, 23, of Barcelona, Spain, complained of a severe headache after getting off the ride in 2000.

                          She was hospitalised the same evening after losing consciousness and died two months later from a brain aneurysm, according to the lawsuit.

                          The lawsuit alleged that Disney pushed the ''envelope to the extreme'' in designing the attraction, known for being fast, turbulent and combining the ups and downs of a roller coaster.
                          Check out my Theme Park Photos at http://darkbeer.smugmug.com

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                          • #14
                            Re: Coaster Accident at Knotts Berry Farm

                            I'm not sure what these have to do with this incident. There is a huge chasm between injuries resulting from normal (though turbulent) ride action - and a part of a ride physically deteriorating and hitting/injuring passengers.
                            www.gregscoasterphotos.com <- Go there, it's good!

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                            • #15
                              Re: Coaster Accident at Knotts Berry Farm

                              Originally posted by sarki7 View Post
                              Despite my confusion over how Intamin always seems to avoid blame even though it alone is the common thread in over a dozen accidents (many of which involve deaths or serious dismemberment) - it seemed as though they were off the hook with Cal Screaming thanks to the "warrant-voiding" post purchase modifications Disney did. I'm not 100% familiar with the incident, so maybe someone else can explain how Intamin is off the hook for that one.
                              from mouseplanet


                              The valves in question were installed in brake zone 7 on the day before the accident. Also replaced were air hoses that had shown signs of age and leakage. The failure of these valves meant that when California Screamin' went into a cascading stop on July 29, all the trains were properly braked except for the train in zone 7, which continued on, colliding with the train stopped at zone 8.

                              Due to the unavailability of the parts from Intamin, the ride's original designer—Disney has since significantly modified the attraction and Intamin no longer considers it one of theirs—Disney had opted to use valves from Legris. Though Disney had never used Legris-brand valves on any other attraction, this was not the first installation on California Screamin'. Seven months prior to the accident, the same valves had been installed on another California Screamin's train and had operated for seven months with no apparent problems.
                              Last edited by NeverNeverland; 09-18-2009, 03:05 PM. Reason: link to other message board removed.
                              Check out my Theme Park Photos at http://darkbeer.smugmug.com

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                              • #16
                                Re: Coaster Accident at Knotts Berry Farm

                                Thanks. Hmm, yea, this part is what I remember, "Disney has since significantly modified the attraction and Intamin no longer considers it one of theirs".

                                You can look at that either way - Disney did things Intamin shouldn't be held responsible for, or Disney did them because they needed to account for inherent design flaws that Intamin didn't/wouldn't/couldn't address.

                                Again, were that an isolated incident, I'd be happy to give them the benefit of the doubt. They've lost the benefit of the doubt with me about 8 or 9 accidents ago.
                                www.gregscoasterphotos.com <- Go there, it's good!

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                                • #17
                                  Re: Coaster Accident at Knotts Berry Farm

                                  Xcelerator has been open for 7 years. When does it become the parks problem and not the manufacturers problem?

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                                  • #18
                                    Re: Coaster Accident at Knotts Berry Farm

                                    When almost this exact incident hasn't happened at other parks. If multiple maintenance shops from multiple parks owned by multiple companies have all had similar issues with similar rides and parts - the problem might not be with the maintenance crews but with the rides and their designs themselves.
                                    www.gregscoasterphotos.com <- Go there, it's good!

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                                    • #19
                                      Re: Coaster Accident at Knotts Berry Farm

                                      An accident like this happened on the similar Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point some time ago. Odd that it's happening now on Xcelerator after so many years of operation already, though. Did they find out what happened on TTD? This incident sounds virtually identical.

                                      That said, I believe that these are extremely uncommon occurrences, which is why it's so noteworthy to the press. Let's not forget all the years and rides it gave safely. I'll be fearlessly riding it again when it's open.
                                      Does anyone even bother with signatures anymore?

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                                      • #20
                                        Re: Coaster Accident at Knotts Berry Farm

                                        It's not odd at all, seeing as they never really fixed the issue. And let's not forget the multiple cable frayings on some of Intamin's freefalls, and the launch cable issue that led to major train destruction on Kingda Ka.

                                        Just because accidents are rare, it's hardly reason not to do everything possible to get them to be nonexistant - especially when they are blantant mechanical issues. I agree that the press tends to blow things out of proportion, but while Intamin's safety record may still be good odds, it's important not to ignore it's probably been multiple times worse than pretty much every other manufacturer combined over the past several years.
                                        www.gregscoasterphotos.com <- Go there, it's good!

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