Top 10 most deadly roller coaster theme park ride accidents to ever happen.
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Danger is a fundamental part of the roller coaster experience. Think about it – if there was no element of danger attached to a towering coaster armed with drops, loops and plenty of speed, where would that adrenaline rush come from that thrill seekers crave so much? You know logically that you aren’t going to crash headlong into the ground below you as you plunge into a free fall from hundreds of feet above, but that moment wouldn’t be nearly as exciting if at least a part of your brain wasn’t going “uh-oh…”.
Yet, even are deepest, darkest fears are realized every now and then. For the hundreds of millions of roller coaster rides that go off without a hitch at amusement parks and carnivals all over the world, there is the extremely rare and terrifying case of a ride that doesn’t exactly go as planned. You see, part of the reason why these mammoth structures seem daunting and formidable is because they are. These twisting, swooping gargantuan conglomerations are scary by design, meaning that they are deliberately intended to test the limits of their own safety features. The idea of putting your life in the hands of a teenaged ride operator or a sketchy-looking carny is not something that most people want to consider when they strap themselves in.
Thankfully, stories of fatal roller coaster incidents remain few and far between, with modern technology helping make them even more rare. While the documentation of such incidents is admittedly spotty, a 2005 report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission counted 52 known deaths related to roller coaster accidents in the United States between 1990 and 2004. On average, that means less than four deaths per year on rides despite a level of popularity that saw 290 million tickets sold by US amusement parks in 2010.
But hey, this isn’t a list of the “10 Times Roller Coasters Ran Safely and Without Incident”. On the odd occasion that things go wrong, they can ultimately go very, very wrong. And in a hurry, too. For the solid safety record and security features of modern coasters, a loose screw here and an overly rambunctious rider can turn to tragedy awfully quick.
Look, we’re not trying to send you screaming in the opposite direction of your local Six Flags. Still, there’s something fundamentally fascinating about the stark contrast between the thrilling highs of a smooth ride and the devastating horror of a ride gone wrong. Morbid curiosity over roller coaster disasters has yielded a cult of followers, including a website dedicated to tracking ride accidents called RideAccidents.com
which identifies itself as “world's most comprehensive source of amusement ride accident reports and related news”.
Without any further ado, here are 10 crazy cases of roller coaster rides gone terribly wrong:
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Superman, Six Flags Kentucky
Hydro, Oakwood Theme Park
Fujin Raijin II, Expoland
Batman: The Ride, Six Flags Over Georgia
Flight Commander, King’s Island
The Big Dipper, Battersea Fun Fair
Puff the Little Fire Dragon, Lagoon Amusement Park
The Cyclone, Coney Island
Ride of Steel, Darien Lake
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