Theme parks have been the scene of horrifying accidents over the years, from eight teenagers being killed in a haunted house to a child being decapitated on a water slide.
While some of the infamous incidents date back to the 1960s, a more recent tragedy struck at a park in Orlando, Florida earlier this year.
While there are only about 4.5 amusement park ride-related fatalities per year, according to the BMW Law Group, some accidents have become notorious for their fatalities.
It may come as a shock, but several deaths have occurred as a result of Disney’s famous PeopleMover ride.
The first came in 1967, when the California theme park ride had only been open for about a month.
A 16-year-old jumped between cars and fell onto the tracks, where he was hit by another train.
Years later, in 1980, another teenager did almost exactly the same thing and met the same fate.
Action Park: 1980s
A series of accidents at New Jersey Park in the 1980s made it the most dangerous amusement park in the world.
The series of fatal incidents began in 1980 when an employee’s sled derailed while riding the Alpine Slide, throwing her off the tracks.
The death of the 19-year-old employee is detailed on the rideaccidents.com website.
“The victim … was thrown down an embankment from the car. He suffered a fatal head injury when his head hit a rock,” the website said.
The park’s Tarzan swing catapulted helpless visitors into water cold enough to induce shock, triggering a fatal heart attack in 1984.
Another ride, Roaring Rapids, claimed the life of a man after he got out of his kayak and stood on a power cable.
The ride had previously caused a series of bruises, broken bones and other injuries.
Visitors struggled to escape the eight-foot-deep Tidal Pool, also known as Grave Pool, and three teenagers drowned.
With up to 1,000 people at the same time and meter-high waves, around 30 people had to be rescued every day.
Six Flags Great Adventure: May 11, 1984
Park guests were walking through the Haunted Castle on the Six Flags Great Adventure when a fire broke out in 1984.
The fire in the maze-like attraction initially trapped 29 guests and employees.
The entire structure burst into flames when a foam cushion caught fire and burned for more than an hour.
The attraction had no smoke detectors or sprinkler system, and didn’t have many exit lights, complicating the dire situation, Yahoo reported.
The New Jersey theme park accident claimed the lives of eight teenagers and injured at least seven others.
The fire left the victims’ charred bodies so badly burned that they were initially mistaken for mannequins when they were found by firefighters searching the rubble.
The accident is still known as one of the worst disasters in theme parks.
King’s Island: June 9, 1991
Two separate incidents on Kings Island, Ohio, claimed three lives on June 9, 1991.
The infamous day made headlines in the local press and became known as “Black Sunday”.
First, a park guest – Timothy Benning – approached a fountain where he intended to splash a friend he was with.
But when he touched the water in the well, he was electrocuted.
There was a live wire just below the surface of the water, which also electrocuted two people who rushed to his aid: his friend William Haithcoat and park worker Darrell Robertson.
The accident eventually claimed the lives of Haithcoat and Robertson, while Benning survived with serious injuries.
About an hour after being electrocuted, Candy Taylor was riding the Flight Commander, an amusement ride that lifts passengers off the ground in spinning pods as she slipped out of her harness.
Taylor fell 70 feet to the ground and died from her injuries.
Schlitterbahn: August 7, 2016
Republican lawmaker Scott Schwab’s son, Caleb, died in August 2016 in the Crazy attraction at Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City.
The 168-foot Verruckt, which means “crazy” in German, has been certified by Guinness World Records as the tallest water slide in the world.
Caleb was killed when his raft went airborne over the slide’s 50-foot hump and collided with a metal pole supporting a safety net above it.
Two women he was driving with suffered minor injuries.
Orlando’s ICON Park: March 24, 2022
Tire Sampson, 14, visited the amusement park to ride the Orlando FreeFall – an attraction that lifts passengers more than 400 feet in the air before dropping them.
The FreeFall has been billed as the world’s highest free fall ride.
But tragedy struck when Sampson slipped out of his harness and seat and fell to the ground.
The horror accident was caught on video.
It was later determined that Sampson had exceeded the ride’s weight limit and may not have been properly strapped into the harness and seat.
It has since been announced that the ride will be demolished.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6579973/inside-the-worst-united-states-theme-park-deaths/ At worst US theme park, eight teenagers died from being burned to death in a haunted house, to the point of decapitating a child at the water park