Amusement parks are the pinnacle of fun and carefree times. Most of us have nothing but wonderful memories of these places. We think of the classic Ferris wheels, thrilling rollercoasters, and enough delicious food to keep us there all day. And yet, even at the most carefully-monitored places, accidents
can happen. Here are some incidents where the disasters proved deadly and could never have been anticipated.
1. Waterworld USA (California)
In 1997, Waterworld USA experienced a tragic accident at the waterslides. These slides are often dangerous because of their short walls and the likelihood of hitting your head at a great speed. This time, what caused the accident was the weight of too many users. 33 high school students piled onto the slide, which caused it to buckle under the weight. One was tragically killed from a crushed chest, and all 32 others were rushed to the hospital.
2. Derby Racer at Revere Beach (Massachusetts)
The Derby Racer was the name of the wooden roller coaster built in 1911. It was part of a twin racer roller coaster, with passengers that would ride on side by side racing trains. The tracks followed a figure eight route, although at that time, safety procedures were not on par with what they are today. In two separate instances, men were hurled off the coaster and died immediately upon impact.
3. Action Park (New Jersey)
Action Park opened in 1978 as one of the first major water parks in the country. Even early in its existence, the park began to gain a reputation for being unsafe. Some of its employees were known to be a bit careless too. After six deadly incidents, the park was often called "Accident Park." The Tidal Pool became one of the most dangerous attractions, with over-crowding and turbulent waves causing several individuals to drown. The park shut down to majorly upgrade safety procedures and has since reopened.
4. King's Island (Ohio)
King's Island faced one of the most tragic days in theme park history on June 9, 1991. A man fell into an on-site pond, and when two employees went in to help him out, all three were electrocuted. Just an hour later, a woman fell from a ride known as the Flight Commander and was killed. Despite these tragic events, King's Island has been recognized for having the "Best Kids' Area" in the world.
5. Six Flags Great Adventure (New Jersey)
The terrible tragedy that occurred at the Jackson township Six Flags Great Adventure didn't happen on a thrill-seeking ride, but rather right on the ground. On May 11, 1984, the haunted castle burst into flames. The metal walls melted under the 2,000 degree heat. While most were able to escape the trauma, 8 teenagers lost their lives. The cause of fire was likely to be arson.
6. Discovery Cove at Sea World (Florida)
The purpose of Discovery Cove is to provide guests with the amazing interactive experience of snorkeling with tropical fish and sea otters. However, one visitor cut his toe underwater -- a seemingly innocent accident that turned into a nightmare. The man was a hemophiliac and suffered from deadly complications. His leg needed amputation and he did not survive long after the procedure.
7. Coney Island (New York)
This iconic Brooklyn amusement park lost much of its steam after World War II, although some of its rides continue to run today. One such attraction, known as the Cyclone, was built in 1927. It's wooden structure made for a rickety ride and at least three people have suffered deadly accidents because of it.
8. Six Flags Over Georgia
The Batman Ride at Six Flags Over Georgia is a popular attraction that takes riders through Gotham City and into the Bat Cave. Sadly, a life was lost to the ride when a teenage boy wandered off course looking for his hat. The boy was immediately killed when the ride zoomed by at nearly 50 miles per hour.
Although horribly tragic incidents have happened on the grounds of these amusement parks, it’s important to remember that following safety procedures and adhering to rules is the best way to prevent such accidents. Have you visited any of these parks? We’d love to hear about your experience there.