While most Amusement Parks haven’t even opened for the 2014 season, there is already sad news in the Amusement industry. A few days ago, on Thursday March 6th, 2014 at approximately 5:35 pm, a 64 year old man fell out of the Opa Roller Coaster at Mt. Olympus. Mt. Olympus is an Amusement Park and Waterpark, with an indoor Amusement Park, where the Opa Roller Coaster is located. Opa is a Zamperla Spinning Wild Mouse, that is commonly found at various Amusement Parks throughout the world. It is not currently known exactly how the man fell out of the ride, but he did not pass away. He was immediately brought to a local hospital, but his current status is unknown.
Since it is not exactly determined how the man fell out, I will speculate how it is possible. Riding replica/clone models at different parks (for example, The Tickler at Luna Park, pictured below) I have a theory. The lap-bar for the Coaster is a traditional lap-bar that clicks down and adjusts based on someones size. If he was overweight, it mightn't been too far up. Then, with the combination of spinning, and the airtime hill (which is about 20 feet tall, the height of which he fell) this could have happened. However, this is just a speculation. But, if they determine this was the reason, I would not be shocked to see a re-design on the Coasters cars or lap-bars. More news will be discovered soon.
Once again, this brings up the question of the safety of Amusement Parks. While an accident like this happens only a few times a year, usually the news and media makes everyone panic and freak out, as like everyone in the world is going to die. This time, the news and media haven't made a big deal about the accident. I'm not saying it's not a big deal, it is. However, this is rarely happens, and Roller Coasters are extremely safe. Maybe this is the top news story in the mid-west, but it isn't a big headline here in the Northeast. For more about Amusement Park safety, read our other blog post.
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