View Full Version : Horror at SixFlags

Mr Orlando
22-06-2007, 06:39 PM

Six Flags has shut down four thrill rides at parks around the country after a gruesome accident at an amusement park in Louisville, Ky

On Thursday, a 13-year-old girl's feet were severed just above the ankles as she rode the Superman Tower of Power ride. The park's Web site said the ride lifts passengers 177 feet straight up, then drops 154 feet.

A Six Flags spokeswoman said the company has shut down similar rides at parks in St. Louis; Gurnee, Ill.; and near Washington, D.C., as a safety precaution.

Bill Clary, of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, made the comment to The Associated Press Friday. The department inspects amusement park rides in Kentucky.

Dispatchers said they got the call around 5 p.m. Thursday. Officials said both her feet were detached above the ankle.

According to MetroSafe dispatch supervisors, the girl was riding the Superman Tower of Power, which is 177 feet tall and drops riders at 54 mph. According to Kentucky Kingdom, the girl was injured when the ride malfunctioned.

"We seen the cable break loose soon as it got to the top on the right-hand side," said Chris Williams, who witnessed the event.

Williams said she saw the teen maimed.

"As the ride came down, the wire swung left, struck the young lady on the back side of my children," Williams said.

Williams' daughter Amber said she gave up her seat to the 13-year-old and was sitting on the other side of the ride. Williams rushed toward the ride to find his daughter. As Smith raced to find members of her group, she said she made a gruesome discovery.

"When I got up there, the lady, she was just sitting there and she didn't have no legs," Smith said. "She didn't have no legs at all. She was just calm, probably in shock from everything."

Smith said she saw no blood and the girl wasn't crying, but the same couldn't be said for many who witnessed the incident on the ride formerly known as the Hellevator.

22-06-2007, 06:50 PM
Oh God how terrible.

Simon Veness
22-06-2007, 06:59 PM
This has been all over the news on CNN here today, and the follow-up story is posted below, but it is truly one of the most blood-curdling things you can ever imagine at a theme park. It looks like every tower ride will now be under investigation for safety (don't know about Dr Doom's Fearfall at Universal, while Disney's Tower of terror is actually a completely different vehicle), and there is going to be a lot of fall-out over this incident. It is hard to imagine what kind of failure caused it to happen, but it is obviously a catastrophic mechanical breakdown, and the actual injury it has caused is just beyond words to comprehend.

Here's hoping the girl in question makes a decent recovery, but you can already imagine the kind of legal compensation claim there is going to be, as well as other ramifications for the ride industry in general. This will probably put a LOT of rides under the safety microscope, but let's hope the response is reasoned and in proportion.

Our thoughts are certainly with the family involved (and all those who actually witnessed the unspeakable event).............

(CNN) -- A teen who lost her feet in an accident at a Kentucky amusement park has undergone surgery, a park spokeswoman said Friday, while two park operators closed similar rides around the country.

The Superman Tower of Power at Louisville's Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom was shut down after Thursday's accident, and Six Flags spokeswoman Wendy Goldberg said Friday the company closed similar rides at parks in St. Louis, Missouri; Gurnee, Illinois; and near Washington, D.C., as a precaution, The Associated Press reported.

Another park operator, Cedar Fair Entertainment Co., closed drop rides at Kings Island near Cincinnati, Ohio; Canada's Wonderland in Toronto, Ontario; Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia.; Carowinds, in Charlotte, North Carolina; and Great America in Santa Clara, California, the AP reported.

"We're going to keep these things down until we're certain it's safe," Cedar Fair spokesman Craig Ross told the AP. "We'll wait and see."

Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom spokeswoman Carolyn McLean said she has been in touch with the injured 13-year-old girl's family and believed the girl is still receiving treatment at the University of Louisville Hospital.

Hospital spokeswoman Julie Gordon would not discuss details of the surgery or recovery, citing patient privacy. The girl's name was not released because she is a minor.

The girl's feet were completely amputated just below the ankle Thursday afternoon while riding the Superman Tower of Power at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville. Her feet were recovered by Six Flags staff and were sent to the hospital with her, McLean said.

During the Tower of Power ride, passengers are hoisted aloft, suspended momentarily, then pulled down, according to the park's Web site. Passengers -- secured with bars and seat belts but with arms and legs free -- drop 154 feet at 54 mph, stopping "just 20 terrifying feet above the pavement," the Web site says.

A police dispatcher said a cord wrapped around the girl's feet while she was on the ride.

"I seen the car go up. Then, like, the cable broke ... and I heard a lot of people screaming," Chris Stinnett, who was at a ride next to the Tower of Power, told CNN affiliate WDRB/WMYO-TV in Louisville.

"The cable went under the car -- and I seen it pull up and hit a lot of people -- and I seen them bring their legs up," he said. (Watch witnesses describe the accident )

"We are not confirming that happened," McLean said. "There was a lot of misinformation from witnesses."

The ride will remain closed until a full investigation by state officials and "our team of experts" is conducted, McLean said.

The inspectors will interview staff members, witnesses and speak with the girl and her family, she said. "Every ride, every investigation is different," she said.

The rest of the park was operating as normal on Friday.

Susan Veness
22-06-2007, 08:17 PM
It does sound like there is some mis-information regarding people's memory of the incident, but even so, this is horrific beyond all telling. My heart goes out to that little girl and her family. I hope the investigation reveals the problem quickly and this youngster is justly compensated (as if anyone could compensate for such a thing. Impossilbe).

Just truly, truly awful. :(

22-06-2007, 09:13 PM
Shocking stuff, but i just hope people keep this in context.

Yes its a tragedy for the girl and her family, but considering the amount of people who ride in theme parks the world over, and the amount of times these this happen then its a tiny, tiny percentage of danger.

That is, of course, no help to the girl in question.

23-06-2007, 06:44 PM
i agree with u dm ut is a horrific incident and my thoughts go out to the grl and her family but i hope that scaremongering doesnt put people off going on ridesmany many thousands go on them each year without incident and it is so unfortunate for something bad to happen i hope it gets sorted and nothing liek it happens again

Susan Veness
23-06-2007, 06:58 PM
Tower of Terror and Dr. Doom's Fearfall are both still running, but we think they use different technology for their lift feature. I would be confident Disney and Universal would have closed them for inspection if there were any chance this could happen on either ride.

Simon Veness
23-06-2007, 07:35 PM
There are no up-dates from the park itself, or the victim, today, but the local newspaper is reporting that the ride had no history of previous malfunctions or injuries. However, the boss of the company that made the ride, Intamin, says they have not been asked to change the cables since the ride was installed 13 years ago, and this would be fairly unusual. We await further developments (and, hopefully, reports of the girl's recovery)...............

Mickey Mouse
23-06-2007, 08:32 PM
oh my word, i just cant believe that! :(

30-07-2007, 03:59 PM
I was just wondering if anymore news was released on this horrific accident?Has the ride been allowed to open again?

Simon Veness
30-07-2007, 04:23 PM
There doesn't seem to be much news about why the ride malfunctioned, but the poor girl in question has had one of her feet reattached by surgery. The other was too badly damaged, unfortunately.

A newspaper report earlier this month said:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Doctors reattached the right foot of a 13-year-old girl involved in a gruesome amusement park accident, but her left foot was too severely damaged to repair, her family and doctor said in a statement Tuesday.

Kaitlyn Lasitter of Louisville remained in stable condition at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., Dr. Douglas Weikert, a surgeon and assistant professor at Vanderbilt, said in the statement.

"Things are progressing as expected over this first 10 days," he said.

Lasitter's feet were severed just above the ankles as she rode the Superman Tower of Power thrill ride at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom on June 21.

Investigators with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture said they have taken a cable they believe broke and severed Lasitter's feet, Wilbur Frye, executive director of the department's Office of Consumer and Environmental Protection, has said. The investigation will continue for several more weeks, Frye said.

Lasitter's mother, Monique Lasitter, thanked the doctors, nurses and hospital staff for their work.

"We would not want her to be at any other hospital during this difficult time," the statement said.

The state has been trying to determine what caused the cable to break. Investigators were taking written statements from witnesses, reviewing statements and analyzing physical evidence and photographs of the scene, Frye said.

The ride was last inspected April 5 and found to be operating normally, Frye said. The ride passed inspection in each of the last four years, according to records.

The ride lifts passengers 177 feet straight up, then drops them nearly the same distance at speeds reaching 54 miles per hour.

Six Flags had shut down similar rides for safety inspections at parks in St. Louis; Gurnee, Ill.; and near Washington as a safety precaution, said Wendy Goldberg, a spokeswoman for Six Flags.

And, more recently:

July 14, 2007 10:55 AM EDT
By Caton Bredar

LOUISVILLE (WAVE) -- The parents of the 13-year old girl whose feet were cut off while on a ride at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom have filed a lawsuit. Kaitlyn Lassiter is still at Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville, but is recovering well. WAVE 3's Caton Bredar has a look at the details of the case.

Attorneys from either side aren't commenting at this point, but in this seven page lawsuit the parent's of Kaitlyn Lassiter ask for unspecified damages seeking compensation for things they claim weren't done.

The lawsuit charges that on June 21, Kentucky Kingdom failed to exercise reasonable care in operating and maintaining the Superman Tower of Power ride that Katie was injured on. A cable on the ride snapped that day severing both of the teenager's feet.

The suit -- filed by Katie's parents three weeks after the accident -- states the park was negligent in its maintenance, operation and inspection of the ride.

Attorney John Talbot -- who is handling a different case involving a double amputee -- says maintenance and inspection records will be likely be key in the case and fairly easy to prove.

"They will have experts term what the reasonable standard of care is for an amusement park operator to operate maintain and use its equipment or its machines or its rides. So they will have experts to establish what that standard is," said Talbot.

While investigators continue to try and determine what caused the cable on the ride to break, Talbot says he believes evidence may favor the family.

"My guess is, when the discovery is taken, that reasonable efforts were not taken. Otherwise the cable would not have snapped. Obviously freak things can happen, but my guess is they failed to do this," Talbot said.

But if evidence does favor the plaintiff, damages may not be difficult to assess.

"Damages are something that have to proven in any case. But when someone has lost both their feet, I don't think the issue of damages will be that difficult to prove," Talbot says.

If the case makes it to litigation, Talbot tells me it could take years before it's actually decided.

Larry Franklin, the attorney for the Lassiter family, issued a brief statement. He said,"The family needs time to try and heal. This case is about Kaitlyn and her family, not about lawyers."

Susan Veness
30-07-2007, 04:25 PM
The only news I've heard is, the family are suing Six Flags. Understandably.

I think the ride is still closed. It isn't listed on their website any more.

Mr Orlando
30-07-2007, 08:14 PM
The only news I've heard is, the family are suing Six Flags. Understandably.

I think the ride is still closed. It isn't listed on their website any more.

All i got is this

The ride has been shut down indefinitely while park officials investigate what caused the accident. The rest of the park remained open.