djrappa

GD Closed?

57 posts in this topic

Just wondering if DW has gone and closed GD as a precautionary measure as Six Flags and Cedar Fair have done as a result of the accident at Kentucky Kingdom two days ago?

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If a plane crashes do they cancel all flights around the world. Typical American neuroticism. Sad to hear someone gets hurt on a ride, but as far as I am aware giant drop is still in operation as it's not listed in the in maintainence page of their website. Although I am still wondering how someones leg could be severed by a snapped cable. If the lift cable were to snap the gondola and the hook carriage above will fall but they'd still be attached and on GD they are both attached the the rails and would still hit the eddie current brakes as per normal the cable could hit someone I guess. not sure...

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If a plane crashes do they cancel all flights around the world. Typical American neuroticism.
But particular models of planes have in the past been grounded as a result of crashes. I'd say without much doubt that this is a freak accident, but I find it a bit of a stretch to call such a valid and justified precautionary measure 'neuroticism'. I can't see how it would make sense to keep them open until they can rule out with 100% certainty that it's not a design flaw.

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In the Courier Mail this morning http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0...126-952,00.html Dreamworld decides to keep the ride operating. Obviously with the first day of the School Holidays. When did GD first open? 1998 wasn't it, and Intamin have some 20 or 30 of these kinds of ride deployed in in various parks around the world. How many accidents on GD rides so far? This is the first I've heard of. I don't think the decision by Dreamworld to keep the giant drop operating was made lightly - they know if there was a trend emerging with these rides, the risks are potentially too high, the adverse publicity damaging to the parks reputation (and theme parks in general). I'm confident their engineers and technicians gave them the OK knowing that with absolute certainty they believe the ride is safe. There's certainly something positive coming out of the tragedy at Six Flags, and that's when they figure out why a cable came loose in the first place, so other owners of other similar can take the appropriate precautions.

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How many accidents on GD rides so far? This is the first I've heard of. quote] One on Space Probe 7 at Australias Wonderland circa 1997. Cable broke and fell down brushing guests on gondola, no serious injuries maybe cuts or abrasions at the worst.
Edited by djsupersleuth

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Seems like it would have been wise for Dreamworld to shut the ride for a few days, to appease the media if nothing else. They've taken a PR hit which otherwise could have been completely avoided if they followed suit with Cedar Fair and Six Flags. As I've said before I'm quite confident that what happened at SFKK was a completely freak accident, by virtue of the fact that cables on these rides very rarely snap and when they have in the past, injuries are typically superficial at worst, but from an image point of view, Dreamworld could have dodged a bullet by just shutting the ride for a few days, maybe using it as an opportunity to perform some annual maintenance that'd otherwise see the ride closed when it's not surrounded by controversy.

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Could it be possible that DW has not closed GD because they are trying to display the confidence they have in their rides? I don't know, just a suggestion...

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Well what about the Intamin drop rides in Asia/Europe? I haven't heard anything about closures in any other parts of the world other than the US?

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Im sure something has gone wrong with the Giant Drop before, I remember hearing something about a really loud sound and there was some debree. But nothing that injured someone.

Edited by aidan

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I suppose it could work in two ways: Keep it running showing confidence to the public and media then get criticised for doing so. Or close it down in line with the US parks to be sure and then have the media work in reverse saying "If it is safe to operate then why close it?" throwing a bad perception to the general public about its safety. Proverbially: "Between a rock and a hard place" "Catch 22" "Dammed if you do, dammed if you dont" Perception is what it is all about and I think Dreamworld has chosen the lesser of two evils and kept it running to display confidence. Also without knowing the details of exactly how the legs were severed other than "cable snapped" I believe they have made the right decision. I have also seen in the media Dreamworld state that their cables undergo daily inspection which would be a visual check which I can tell you from experience means nothing. I doubt their regular daily would be a "rag test" which would be too time consuming however they may have decided to do this until the cause of the US accident has been established. A bit of overtime for two maintenance employees outweighs keeping it closed

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The way it reads in the articles is Dreamworld heard about the Kentucky incident and disregarded with "we maintain our rides well, so we don't need to worry". They haven't indicated, neither implicitly nor explicitly, that they've done anything out of the ordinary with regards to upkeep of the ride as a result of the Kentucky incident. From a public perception and a media coverage standpoint, that sends out a slightly uneasy message. There is absolutely nothing yet known to suggest that Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom were at fault in the incident, while the comments from Dreamworld imply that because they have better maintenance programmes (who's to say that's true?), such a thing could never happen. They said outright that they don't yet know what happened, but that they are confident that it couldn't happen at Dreamworld. That there shows why the media have picked up on this story - Dreamworld have created an issue where there wasn't one previously. If Dreamworld had closed the ride for a few days (again, a totally cosmetic measure to appease the media/public; there is nothing to suggest there is anything wrong with Giant Drop), along with a firm statement that they have impeccable maintenance and safety standards and that its closure is only a precautionary measure until the facts of the incident are fully understood, they would have fared much better in the situation and not received the slightly sensationalised media attention that they have. I think on the whole, most people understand much better that closing a ride as a precautionary measure is justifiable decision; not closing a ride and making refutable claims about the quality of maintenance at Dreamworld vs. SFKK is less so.

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The media would burn them either way they went on this issue as is what is happening now. The way it reads and the way Dreamworld would have approached the decision would/should/could hopefully be two different things.

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post-1321-1182739417_thumb.jpgpost-1321-1182739449_thumb.jpg I think this is just another media beat up. The Superman Tower of Power if different to the giant drop and I think this is why dreamworld is not concerned with it. Intamin AG also has said in their press release that not all parts are made from them so just like an Australian car company it would not be hard to believe that the giants drops cables might have been brought local and not from the same supplier. On the Superman Tower Of Power you can see how a cable from one side could hit a person nearby if a cable broke. If you think about where the cables are on the giant drop then what do you think would happen if one broke?

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The odd thing about this is a couple of days ago when I was watching Mythbusters re-runs on American cable they were actually testing a myth where people can get cut in half by a whipping cable, or course they substituted a pig carcass for a person, but in the end they still couldn't get a whipping cable to do much more than leave really bad welts, let alone actually cut through something. Ill be interested to hear what actually caused it. But, i dont really see how a cable snapping is a problem related only to giant drop rides, a cable is a fairly generic component, so Intamin are correct in what they are saying about only manufacturing some parts of a ride. I guess what I am trying to say is that a cable snapping is not really Intamins fault (Compared to things Intamin has been responsible for such as their restraint failures, since that was something they actually designed) unless of course all this time Intamin had been commissioning rides with inadequate cables.

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Intamin was indeed suggesting that the cable in question was not their own. The ride would be designed to use a specific gauge of wire rope for the elevator lift system, presumably one that is a standard in the elevator industry, allowing Intamin to cut out excessive R&D costs that would be associated with developing new rope and allowing owners to source replacements from local manufacturers. Mythbusters is so woefully unscientific that it doesn't surprise me that they didn't get anywhere with that myth. Their interest is in wowing people with building oversized contraptions and blowing things up to make viewers happy. Great from a television entertainment perspective, but not much else. I'm not convinced the same thing would have happened in the media had Dreamworld chosen to shut the ride. Rides in this country have been shut as precautions many times in the past when nothing was wrong with them other than some bad press for similar rides abroad. Giant Drop has even been closed for similar reasons in the past with less negative press than we've currently seen for Giant Drop. There's no story in taking precautions... it doesn't sell newspapers.

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"There's no story in taking precautions... it doesn't sell newspapers."- It's hardly front page material, lets be real here, how unfortunate this whole situation maybe, it is still a relatively minor occurance on a ride across the other side of the planet quite literally. It is hardly front page material, nor would this occurance attract huge media interest and whether a precautionary measure or unprecautionary measure is taken, it is not exciting news. It's some poor girl got hurt on a similar ride to what we have in australia and dreamworld is not shutting down its similar ride. Really is quite esoterical.

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It is hardly front page material ... Really is quite esoterical.
Almost a week later the Sydney Morning Herald just rang a story in both print and on the front page of the online version at www.smh.com.au regarding the fact that Cedar Fair has closed all it's drop towers... so yes, it is an issue that other parks are taking seriously. And the article even states that the closure have occured with the full knowledge that Intamin don't make all the ride's components, which I think makes it even more relevant to discuss why Dreamworld hasn't taken any action. We all know that while the car size, type, theme, height or whatever, all Intamin drop towers use incredibly similar designs, just as theirs and other manufacturers' roller coasters do. I'm going to agree with Richard here and say that even if they closed it for a couple of days for an inspection it would have saved a lot more face from the public point of view.... Here's the SMH article if anyone's interested... More rides shut down after horrific accident Six Flags and Cedar Fair shut down eight more thrill rides around North America on Friday after a teenage girl's feet were sliced off during a ride in Kentucky. State inspectors were at the Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom to examine the Superman Tower of Power, where the accident happened Thursday. The ride lifts passengers 177 feet straight up, then drops them nearly the same distance at speeds reaching 54 mph. It was unclear at what point in the ride the 13-year-old was injured, said Wendy Goldberg, a Six Flags spokeswoman. The girl was taken to a hospital, where her condition was not immediately available Friday. Six Flags shut down similar rides at parks in St. Louis; Gurnee, Ill.; and near Washington as a safety precaution, Goldberg said. She said Six Flags Over Texas, near Dallas, also has a Superman Tower of Power, but it is not the same ride. There had been no reports of injuries on the ride before Thursday, she said. "Millions of people have safely ridden this ride in our parks," Goldberg said. Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. also shut down drop tower rides at five of its amusement parks for inspection, company spokeswoman Stacy Frole said. Frole described it as a precautionary measure. Intamin AG, a Swiss company, made all the rides but did not supply all the parts, said Sandor Kernacs, president of the company's American operations, Intamin Ltd. in Glen Burnie, Md. The five Cedar Fair rides that were shut down are at Kings Island near Cincinnati; Canada's Wonderland, in Toronto; Kings Dominion in Doswell, Va.; Carowinds, in Charlotte, N.C.; and Great America in Santa Clara, Calif.

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Sunrise this morning spoke to Dreamworld regarding this - one point to note is that GD uses a winch drum system, whereas the models in the US use a counter weighted system, so two different elevation systems. I agree with Rich that they could have taken it down during the quiet period for a couple of days to appease the media, but one thing about that is that then it appears to the public that it "may" not be safe....?

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Enterprise catches fire; 37 suffer burns (Friday, May 18, 2007) - In Rakvere, Estonia, an Enterprise amusement ride somehow caught fire, leaving 37 people with burn and smoke inhalation injuries. The victims, six of whom suffered serious injuries, were rushed to local hospitals where they were treated and released within 24 hours. The carnival is operated by Tivoli Tuur. The ride consists of twenty 2-passenger gondolas which are suspended from the outside of a wheel that is raised to a vertical position while spinning at high speed. The fire broke out while the ride was operating at full speed. Why did this not make the news? Why did dreamworld not stop running there one?

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Why did this not make the news? Why did dreamworld not stop running there one?
Because, quite simply, it wasn't a western, 13 year old little girl who sustained the injuries, and that's the sad fact about the media. We're also talking about a spinning carnie ride, not a 100m tall drop ride. Don't really want to get into an argument so I'm stepping back :P

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