JacobSibbald

Texas Giant Death

24 posts in this topic

Several media reports say the woman fell from the Texas Giant roller coaster at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington. An eyewitness reported the accident on Twitter shortly before 8 p.m. EDT.

"Literally just witnessed someone fly off of the Texas giant (sic) two seats in front of me," Joshua Paul Fleak (@joshfleak) wrote.

Fleak later tweeted that a restraint on the woman's car came undone and she flew out when the coaster turned.

The amusement park later confirmed the fatal accident, issuing the following statement:

"We are deeply saddened to share that earlier this evening an adult woman died in the park while on the Texas Giant. Park medical staff and local paramedics responded immediately. Since the safety of our guests and employees is our number one priority, the ride has been closed pending further investigation. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends during this difficult time."

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This is a real tragedy but we can't yet confirm what truly happened. The restraint coming undone report is just a rumor at this stage, and restraints coming undone during rides is extremely rare and unlikely. Chances are her lapbar wasn't pulled down enough, leaving enough room for her to be ejected from the ride due to the powerful airtime of the ride.

Very scary, worrying incident though. I feel for the deceased's family and friends, as well as the park and ride operators and anyone who was unlucky enough to witness the event.

Today isn't a good day for theme parks though - a separate incident occurred at Cedar Point where a Shoot the Chutes ride fell backwards on the lifthill into the water, flipping upside down and leaving riders trapped underwater by the boat's lapbars. Luckily people managed to save the riders before this scary incident became a full blown tragedy.

UPDATE: A new report claims that the woman was quite large and felt unsafe since her lapbar only went down one "click". However, the ride ops claimed this was fine and let her go. The part that makes no sense here is that Texas Giant has hydraulic lapbars which don't "click" at all. The restraint system has a light that lights up when the lapbar is just low enough, signaling that it's safe to go. It seems the woman's restraint only just made the minimum, which means that with the strong airtime it may have been pulled upwards a fraction, allowing it to come completely undone.

Edited by alex_1

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This is the most shocking part to me, I really feel for the woman's children.

On Facebook, a woman who said she was next in line to ride the Texas Giant wrote that “the lady whose seat I was about to get into on the Giant wasn’t there when the red train came back!! Seriously! People in front row screaming when they came back that their mom was gone. We waited about 50 mins & now kids are freaking out.”

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I'm surprised there is no secondary restraint system but in theory it shouldn't be needed as its a redundant lap bar system, but this doesn't help a rider coming out of it. I would have thought after so many incidents the issue of larger guests falling out of restraints due to shifting weight would have been resolved by now.

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I think the issue here is that while the restraint was in the 'locked' position, it is a 'lap' bar, and judging by the photos released, I don't think the bar would have been in her lap, rather it would have been on her larger than normal abdomen (stomach).

The abdomen is very fluid - able to sag to a persons knees whilst 'waddling' it takes a completely different shape (to a point it can choke them) when they are lying on their back.

The point is if the restraint was locked down over her abdomen - she is quite capable of being ejected from the giant without the restraint unlocking AT ALL.

When a person is ejected from a coaster, most people jump to the very natural assumption that the restraint must have failed. In this case I am predicting (with no first hand knowledge and just my own experience reading about previous accidents) that the harness did not fail, that it was functioning correctly, and the person was ejected because of incorrect loading procedures by the loading staff.

I also forsee that the adjustments recommended to the ride by the investigation will be supplementary seat belts to the lap bars, which really wouldn't have made a difference here anyway.

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This, basically http://www.youtube.com/watch?hl=en&gl=AU&client=mv-google&v=i0KmTMf0VVQ&nomobile=1 Also, did anyone hear about what happened to the Smiler today?

If that's what happened, then they should have been able to prevent this from studying previous accidents, hopefully this won't happen again.

And as for the smiler - https://twitter.com/Ben_M_To_The_C/status/358885538847154176/photo/1

A loud bang was heard, and a large bolt was seen on one of the safety nets. The ride was shut all day afterwards.

Some people have suggested that the prolonged heat in the UK was a cause, but has it really been that hot over there?

https://twitter.com/LynneSkeels/status/358890529393627136/photo/1

Edited by AllegroCrab

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Yesterday whilst at work I was perusing the Yahoo news site (don't even know why...) when I saw the title 'Woman is killed falling off the worlds tallest rollercoaster'. I then quickly read it, and sure enough numerous times in the article the journalist claims NTG is the worlds tallest rollercoaster.

I'll try to find the article again, at the moment I just don't have time because of work. But I mean SERIOUSLY!? How hard can it possibly be to just google 'worlds tallest roller coaster' to check some facts? Especially when talking about something so sensitive to the public...

Edited by Linus1995

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That would be wrong also. Not only is the ride a steel-tracked coaster now, the tallest wooden coaster is about 30% or 50 feet taller.

I think Six Flags had called it the world's tallest steel-hybrid coaster when it first opened, but since Iron Rattler is now taller it can't claim that title. I think the original statement is what all the news stations have found and butchered.

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The articles I read all clearly stated its the worlds tallest wooden rollercoaster.

Shame it's not a wooden coaster. And even if it were, there are still 5 true wooden coasters that are taller than it.

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The news reports on this entire story have been ridiculous. One headline claimed that Texas Giant has had numerous injuries, implying that its dangerous. However, if you actually read the article they state that they were just minor injuries and were almost all reported when Texas Giant used to be a wooden coaster - a rough one at that. But yeah, headline sensationalism.

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The news reports on this entire story have been ridiculous. One headline claimed that Texas Giant has had numerous injuries, implying that its dangerous. However, if you actually read the article they state that they were just minor injuries and were almost all reported when Texas Giant used to be a wooden coaster - a rough one at that. But yeah, headline sensationalism.

Wow, the news reporters are pretty stupid. The old Texas Giant caused the minor injuries. Iron Rattler's closed too.

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We all know the cause of the accident, they just probably need to please a few official inspectors and get through some red tape before everything's operational again.

Clearly neither Six Flags or RMC are phased considering 2 new RMC coasters were announced for 2 Six Flags parks. Though it'll be interesting to see if either of them run Gerstlauer trains.

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In a press conference SFGAm confirmed RMC trains for Goliath.

I'm also thinking Medusa would feature the RMC trains because if a company can offer an all in one product (i.e. track, trains etc) for the same or cheaper price, why bother outsourcing it? I think the Gerstlauer trains were an interim measure until RMC had their own trains designed and built.

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The Texas Giant to Re-Open Following Implementation of Incremental Safety Measures

ARLINGTON, Texas — September 10, 2013 — Six Flags Over Texas today announced that it has completed the investigation of the recent accident involving the Texas Giant roller coaster, with the ride train manufacturer, internal engineers and external experts ruling out any mechanical failure of the ride. Due to litigation, the company is not releasing any further information about the outcome of the investigation. Park officials plan to re-open the Texas Giant coaster this weekend, following the addition of incremental and overlapping safety measures for the ride that include re-designed restraint-bar pads from the manufacturer and new seat belts. As with other rides in the park, guests with unique body shapes or sizes may not fit into the restraint system. The company is providing a coaster seat at the ride entrance so guests can test their fit prior to entering the ride line. "We are heartbroken and will forever feel the pain and sadness of this tragic accident. Our sincerest condolences go out to the family and friends of Ms. Esparza," said Steve Martindale, park president of Six Flags Over Texas. "The safety of our guests and employees is our company's absolute highest priority and we try to take every reasonable precaution to eliminate the risk of accidents." The Texas Giant has undergone extensive testing and has received approval from the state of Texas, Department of Insurance, to resume operation. "The Texas Giant is one of my favorite rides in the park," added Martindale. "My staff, family and I are pleased to be among the first riders as we prepare to re-open the Texas Giant for our guests." Six Flags has successfully operated regional theme parks for 52 years and takes great pride in the quality of its safety record, ride maintenance and employee training, safely delivering approximately 200 million rides each year. According to data gathered by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, the industry safely provides approximately 1.7 billion rides annually in the United States and the likelihood of a person being seriously injured on a permanently-located amusement park ride is extremely remote.

http://www.sixflags.com/overtexas/info/texasupdate.aspx

Well, there you go...

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