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Amusement Park Accidents Cause Safety Concerns – July 22, 2013

A fatal roller coaster accident at Six Slags in Arlington, Texas and a second accident at an amusement park in Ohio, has raised concerns about amusement park maintenance, training and safety.  The two accidents happened within hours of each other this past week. Rosy Esparza was riding the Texas Giant roller coaster with her family when she was thrown from the fourteen story high amusement park ride and killed. The ride is advertised as the tallest steel-hybrid roller coaster in the world with a seventy-nine degree drop and a ninety-five degree bank.  One witness claims that she overhead the victim question whether her safety harness was secure to staff members before the ride started.  The last fatality at the amusement park happened in 1999 when a Roaring River ride overturned, killing one passenger and injuring ten. Texas is one of twenty one states that does not have government oversight regarding amusement park accidents.  The operator is responsible for doing their own accident investigation.

The accident in Ohio occurred at the Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio.  Seven people were injured when a log flume ride malfunctioned.  The “Shoot the Rapids” water ride rolled backward down a hill and flipped on its side or upside down according to witnesses.  All seven people on board were injured, although only one was taken to a hospital, according to reports. The seven people were belted in and were trapped until receiving assistance.  

Both amusement park operating companies are attempting to determine the causes of the accidents.

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