Have you ever walked into a theme park as an adult and felt that child-like awe as you take in everything around you? It’s like you don’t know where to begin with all the excitement options available to you. Your senses take in all the bright colors, and sounds, and smells, and you feel that anticipation for the fun that’s to come. And at the center of it all is a rollercoaster. It’s towering high over the park and you can hear the whooshing screams as the riders whip by. It’s beckoning you, telling you to come and feel the fear.
We love roller coasters for the same reason that we love horror movies. They are an opportunity for us to feel frightened but in a safe environment. All the thrills but no real danger. But you might be better off just sticking to the horror movies, and in a moment, you’ll see what we mean.
Your odds of dying in a rollercoaster accident are 1 in 750 million. But of course, if you are on the rollercoaster then you do have a chance – no matter how small it may be. The only way not to have a chance is never to get on the roller coaster in the first place. Because accidents, although unlikely, certainly do happen.
15. We Might Need A Fire Extinguisher Over Here
What’s more terrifying than a roller coaster? A roller coaster on fire, of course! This is not what you want to see walking into a theme park but thankfully no-one was hurt during this particular blaze.
This picture was captured at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California, when a decades old wooden roller coaster named Colossus caught fire in September 2014. No one was onboard the ride at the time as the park was closed. Six Flags reported that contractors had been disassembling the ride for renovation when the fire broke out. Hundreds of spectators watched as the blaze raged on, eventually causing a collapse and leaving a large hole at the top of the ride. A Los Angeles County Fire Inspector said, “It’s not something you see every day”. Well, we hope not sir.
14. Nothing To Smile About
The Alton Towers disaster in June 2015 left sixteen people injured and two of them required leg amputations following this grisly theme park accident in the United Kingdom. A series of human errors led to this accident which involved a roller coaster called Smiler.
The investigation revealed that the ride had not been properly maintained since its opening in 2013 which exposed thousands of people to the risk of serious injury and death. It also came to light that attendants allowed the ride to continue to operate in 46mph winds even though the safety regulations forbid such a practice. The accident occurred when one roller coaster car slammed into another one following a mechanical malfunction. The impact was similar to a 90mph car crash and it’s been described as a miracle that no one was killed.
13. Decapitated Deer Anyone?
A roller coaster course with live animals walking around? That doesn’t sound like a good idea at all, does it?
The Ultimate is a roller coaster located in Lightwater Valley amusement park, England which boasts a 1.5 mile run through fields and forested areas and reaches top speeds of about 50 mph. While there is a perimeter fence around the park to protect the wildlife they sometimes get through and have been hit by The Ultimate more than once.
The first incident was in 1994 when the coaster hit a deer and ripped its legs off, covering the passengers in blood. The second occurred in 2014 when the coaster hit a young deer and decapitated it instantly, again leaving the riders covered in blood and suffering from shock.
12. Water Slide Collapse
Water slides are just as much fun as roller coasters and for most of us riding a water slide makes us feel like a kid again. But water slides can be just as deadly as coasters, especially if they are not maintained or controlled correctly. Overcrowding and poor maintenance are what led to This accident – and as you can see by the picture this was no small incident.
In August 2012, this photo of the aftermath of a water slide collapse was captured at Nicco Park, one of the oldest and largest amusement parks in Kolkata, India. According to eyewitnesses, the ride was overloaded with people when part of the structure collapsed. Two boys were still on the ride at the time and with no way to stop themselves they slid right through the gap. At least seventeen people, mostly children were injured during the incident.
11. Ride Collapse Captured On Film
A bystander got a little more than he bargained for while he stood filming the Fire Ball ride at the Ohio State Fair earlier this year. While the camera was rolling he caught the horrifying moment when the ride broke apart and sent riders hurtling through the air and crashing down to the ground. One young man was killed instantly and seven more were injured, with three of them in critical condition.
Swinging, spinning rides like this one are common place and for those who are too afraid to ride the intimidating roller coasters, these can seem like a safer option. But just like roller coasters and other fairground attractions, they do need to be properly maintained to prevent terrible accidents like this one. You’ve been warned.
10. A Siege Weapon Is Not Meant To Be A Ride
Okay, this one is not strictly a roller coaster but it might keep you out of the amusement park all the same.
Siege weapons were a great idea for combat during the middle ages but combining a weapon and an amusement park are never a good idea. Middlemoor Water Park found this out the hard way.
Back in 2002, a student was killed when he was hurled more than 30m through the air after taking part in a human catapult event at Middlemoor Water Park in Woolavington, England. He and another student somehow missed the safety net and hit the ground hard, resulting in the death of one of them and causing serious injury to the other.
9. Victims’ Terrifying Final Moments Captured On CCTV
The Thunder River Rapids Ride was a rapid water ride located in the Dreamworld amusement park in Australia. However, the ride no longer exists and that is because of a tragedy that occurred on the ride in 2016 when four thrill seekers were killed on the attraction. And CCTV cameras captured every horrifying moment.
A malfunction with the ride’s conveyor belt caused the raft the riders were in to suddenly flip over; crushing and drowning the four patrons trapped underneath. After the incident, the ride was immediately shut down and a month later the park’s CEO announced that it would never reopen. The ride was then scheduled for demolition and it is not yet clear which attraction will take its place but let’s just hope they pay a little more attention to safety in the future.
8. A Faulty Axle Caused The Fujin Raijin II To Derail
For 30 years Expoland, an amusement park located in Japan, thrived with masses of people enjoying the 40 rides on offer. But all that changed one fateful day in 2007.
That was the day that a 19-year-old university student got onto the Fujin Raijin II roller coaster, not knowing that it was the last thing she would ever do. The ride derailed and the student was killed when her head hit the metal beams. Nineteen other riders were also seriously hurt in the accident. An investigation revealed that the derailment had occurred due to a broken axle, and further probing revealed that the park had not replaced the axles in fifteen years. The park was reopened later the same year but it never recovered. Two years later, citing low attendance, the park shut down for good.
7. Rider Dies After Being Ejected From His Seat 50 Ft Above The Ground
Caleb Thomas Schwab, the son of a Kansas state legislator, was killed on August 7th, 2016 when he was thrown out of a waterslide raft some 50 feet off the ground. Witnesses watched in terror as his body fell into the safety netting which sadly didn’t save his life. The scene was straight out of a horror movie, something no person should ever have to witness – Caleb was decapitated as he hit the structure of the ride.
Caleb was riding with two other female passengers on the 168-foot-tall Verruckt ride at Schlitterbahn Waterpark. They also suffered facial injuries as he was ejected from his seat. Insiders said that the velcro straps meant to hold the riders in were not working properly on the day of the accident and witnesses said they heard loud booms before they saw Caleb’s lifeless body.
6. The End Of The Line
The one thing you definitely don’t want to see on a rollercoaster is the tracks coming to an end right in front of you right? Well, on the Wicked Twister at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio that’s exactly what you’ll find but there’s nothing to panic about. This is all part of the fun.
The Wicked Twister is the worlds the tallest and fastest inverted roller coaster and just looking at it is enough to get your heart racing. The ride consists of two 215 feet tall spikes on either side designed with 450-degree vertical twists. It has one train that consists of eight cars and can carry a total of 32 riders at a time. The ride has numerous impressive safety features and (so far) has a perfect safety record.
5. Get Ready To Scream
With a top speed of 62mph, the Sky Scream at Holiday Park in Germany certainly isn’t the fastest roller coaster around but that doesn’t make it any less intimidating. The ride has a horror theme and the buildings around it have been designed to look as though riders are screeching through a derelict industrial complex. Now I don’t know about you but that would get my heart racing.
The ride features tons of unexpected 360-degree twists, turns, loops, and barrel rolls and rises up 150 feet off the ground. The coaster was originally constructed for a Chinese theme but after that park suffered delays it was sent to Holiday Park instead and opened in 2014. The ride can take up to twelve passengers at a time who all secured with top of the line lap bars to keep them safe.
4. Last Ride
Falling off an amusement park ride is everyone’s worst nightmare. One minute you’re sitting there enjoying the adrenaline rush and the next you are hurtling towards the ground – and there’s nothing you can do to save yourself.
This is exactly what happened when Sneha Singh and her sister decided to go on a “rocking cradle” ride at the Belilious amusement park in West Bengal, India. At some stage, during the ride, the seats they were riding in became detached from the main structure and sent the sisters plummeting towards the ground. Sneha died instantly from the impact but her sister somehow survived although she sustained serious injuries and was rushed to the hospital. According to insiders, the park has a poor maintenance record and the park authorities were nowhere to be seen during the aftermath.
3. It Wasn’t Meant To End This Way
What started as a fun day at an amusement park in Motherwell, Scotland, in June 2016 ended in carnage when a roller coaster came off the rails and crashed into a group of children. Two adults and eight kids were injured in the wreck, including one young girl who was left in a coma after suffering a serious head injury.
The ride, The Tsunami, had been closed for maintenance just hours before the horrific crash. The coaster came off the track and plunged more than 30ft before crashing into a kiddies motorbike ride, leaving many trapped in the wreckage.
2. Young Girl Dies After Flying Off Amusement Park Ride
Earlier this year a teenage girl died while riding the Space Adventure ride at the Zhaohua Amusement Park in Chongqing, south west China and the entire incident was captured on camera.
Soon after the incident, the amateur footage surfaced on the internet and it’s not for the faint of heart. It showed the young girl suddenly coming out of her seat and being launched up into the air before crashing down with a sickening thud onto the platform below. The crowd can be heard screaming as they realize that something had gone terribly wrong. Some onlookers even turn away as the sight of the girl’s body was just too horrific to bear. The teenager was rushed to the hospital but was announced dead on arrival. What caused her to break loose from the ride is still unknown.
1. It’s Meant To Do This Right?
Okay, before you reach for your anti-anxiety medication just know that there is nothing wrong with this picture or the roller coaster depicted here. It’s meant to look this way. This is The Gravity Max at Lihpao Land Discovery World in Taiwan and although it looks terrifying it has a perfect safety record.
The ride takes its passengers 114 feet up before the track “breaks” flipping the car down 90 degrees and dropping it a shine-chilling 34 stories. It is the world’s only tilt coaster and was the world’s first coaster to feature a true 90-degree drop. It is definitely not recommended for the faint of heart but if you are looking for a truly heart stopping ride you can find this one in the Houli District, Taichung in Taiwan.
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