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  1. #1

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    Big Thunder Crash Questions??

    Ok I keep reading about the accident that happened on BTMRR where a man was killed , but I also keep hearing that there was possibly another derailment/ crash within a few months of this. But I really cant find any real answers? So I guess I am asking...

    Does anyone know how safe this ride is ( in reality, not according to Disney) I have never been on it.

    Was anyone at the park when this or possibly a first accident occurred and how was everything handled?

    Thanks!
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  2. #2

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    Re: Big Thunder Crash Questions??

    honestly.. i cant imagine of all people to have a un-safe ride.. would be disney.. it seems like there are ALOT more worse things at knotts and magic mountain. i ride it with faith in disney, because they are someone to be trust-worthy with.. your not going to a carnival.

  3. #3

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    Re: Big Thunder Crash Questions??

    I have been on the ride multiple times, and I have never felt unsafe. Save once when the side of our car was loose but we later discovered that this was just a handicap car. Anyways...I heard that once a person stood up on the ride and fell out, so that is clearly their own fault. I did hear that a car derailed but that was a long time ago, so my best bet is that the ride is a lot safer now. No need to worry, this was the only Disneyland safety issue I heard of which resulted in death. Other deaths were the own rider's fault.

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  4. #4

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    Re: Big Thunder Crash Questions??

    oh I completely agree, I guess I wasnt really too clear.. Im wondering what made this particular attraction (from what ive heard) have two similar accidents , compared to some of the other roller coasters? Is there a flaw in the design?
    ✶Dreams do come true!!!✶


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  5. #5

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    Re: Big Thunder Crash Questions??

    yes this and the sailing ship columbia seem to be the only deaths where the rider's own actions did not cause the problem
    ✶Dreams do come true!!!✶


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  6. #6

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    Re: Big Thunder Crash Questions??

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyDreams714 View Post
    Ok I keep reading about the accident that happened on BTMRR where a man was killed , but I also keep hearing that there was possibly another derailment/ crash within a few months of this. But I really cant find any real answers? So I guess I am asking...

    Does anyone know how safe this ride is ( in reality, not according to Disney) I have never been on it.

    Was anyone at the park when this or possibly a first accident occurred and how was everything handled?

    Thanks!
    It's a pretty detailed topic. My suggestion is for you to Google Disneyland "Big Thunder" Accident. You'll get over 46,000 citations, from Wikipedia to various news agencies' reports and followup stories.

    Add "OSHA" to your search terms and you'll get the government reports on the causes of the accident.

    Bottom line, there have been no more problems with Big Thunder. It's a very safe ride.

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  7. #7

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    Re: Big Thunder Crash Questions??

    ive googled all that stuff, its basically like the facts are being swept under the rug
    ✶Dreams do come true!!!✶


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  8. #8

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    Re: Big Thunder Crash Questions??

    Considering Big Thunder Mountain Railroad opened in 1979 and only has had the one major accident in 2003, I honestly feel pretty safe. The second collision happened in the morning without anyone physically on the ride so no one was injured. It was all due to poor maintenance and since it happened, I believe BTMRR is now watched even more closely, possibly even making it more safe than most other rides out there.

    At every theme park, carnival, amusement type place, you are putting your life at somewhat of a risk, trusting that everything will be safe. Out of every ride I have ever been on, I trust I will have a safe and happy experience in Disneyland. There have been far more careless incidents in every other theme/amusement park I've been to. After reading all accounted incidents in Disneyland, I've never been afraid to walk through its gates and go on every single ride.
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  9. #9

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    Re: Big Thunder Crash Questions??

    via Wikipedia, confirmed elsewhere:

    Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
    Main article: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
    On September 5, 2003, a 22-year-old man from Gardena, California died after suffering severe blunt trauma and extensive internal bleeding in a derailment of the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster that also injured 11 other riders.[7] The cause of the accident was determined to be improper maintenance and training of Disney employees.[8] Investigation reports and discovery by the victim's attorney confirmed the fatal injuries occurred when the first passenger car collided with the underside of the locomotive. The derailment was the result of a mechanical failure which occurred due to omissions during a maintenance procedure. Fasteners on the left side upstop/guide wheel on the floating axle of the locomotive were not tightened and safetied in accordance with specifications. As the train entered a tunnel the axle came loose and jammed against a brake section, causing the locomotive to become airborne and hit the ceiling of the tunnel. The locomotive then fell on top of the first passenger car, crushing the victim.[9]

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  10. #10

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    Re: Big Thunder Crash Questions??

    Ever since the BTMRR incident 7 years ago, they have really updated their saftey protocols.

    One of the most notable changes of operation for BTMRR is that now that every train added must go through a test-run before letting guests in that train.

    It reopened on March 10th 2004 after everything was adressed following the incident in September of 2003. So it was closed for 7 months.

    4 months after it reopend (July of 2004), another incident occured where one train collided with another train. Fortunaltey this was at the station. One train was heading back to the station and accidently went into a side with another train still on that side..

    Since then, there have been no accidents at BTMRR.



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  11. #11

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    Re: Big Thunder Crash Questions??

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyDreams714 View Post
    Ok I keep reading about the accident that happened on BTMRR where a man was killed , but I also keep hearing that there was possibly another derailment/ crash within a few months of this. But I really cant find any real answers? So I guess I am asking...

    Does anyone know how safe this ride is ( in reality, not according to Disney) I have never been on it.

    Was anyone at the park when this or possibly a first accident occurred and how was everything handled?

    Thanks!
    One thing you must know is how in the years leading up to the accident (and the Columbia accident), the management of the time did not give upkeep and maintenance the priority it needed. You will often hear boos, jeers, and hissing from Disneyland fans when the names Paul Pressler and Cynthia Harris are mentioned since they were retail oriented and not theme park oriented. Training was also lacking which was apparent with both Big Thunder and Columbia accidents.

    2004 was my first time back in 5 years, so I wasn't at the park at the time of either accident, but in short, poor maintenance and training were part of the Big Thunder accident. Someone please correct me if I have anything wrong or missing anything here, but with the Big Thunder accident, there was a train that seemed to be making funny noise (or exhibiting abnormal behavior) and would need to go into the maintenance area, which involves backing it onto the maintenance spur (which leads away from the loading station along the Rancho del Zocalo's patio). Because of how Disney dispatches multiple trains on its coasters (like the Matterhorn and Space), the train would have to make another round on track to be sent to maintenance without causing an e-stop. The train was loaded and sent on its way. The train entered a tunnel where an upstop wheel from the engine unit was loose and came off. The engine became uncoupled from the cars and crashed with its rear in air and the ore cars rolled right into it, killing the man riding in the front row. The entire attraction e-stopped. It was found maintenance that was done on this engine had only been signed off as being done, but wasn't actually done, making the loose upstop wheel go unnoticed. Again, if there are any inaccuracies, someone please correct me!

    Another accident happened after the attraction reopened where a train was accidentally sent onto a station spur that still had a train, bumping the train. One car derailed, but I think it might have only been the rear axle of the last car of the train in the station.

    I know I've seen pictures online of the crash area with the train show along with the damage to the train itself and it's a scary sight. I still ride the attraction. Disney's attractions are still pretty safe. I definitely wouldn't trust the rides you see at the carnival or state fair! Big Thunder and Columbia are the attractions to have accidents where Disney was at fault. Normally, attraction related accidents tend to be the guest's fault (ie the teen sneeking in on the monorail beam, the Peoplemover deaths, and the person who stood up on the Matterhorn).

  12. #12

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    Re: Big Thunder Crash Questions??

    There is a video on YOutube that gives a brief summary of the incident in 03. Somehow, the pics and vids of the damaged train taken by DOSH (or disney officials) is in the video.

    I'm not sure if it'll be ok to post on here though.



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  13. #13

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    Re: Big Thunder Crash Questions??

    Quote Originally Posted by Koutesu View Post


    I know I've seen pictures online of the crash area with the train show along with the damage to the train itself and it's a scary sight.
    where are the pictures
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  14. #14

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    Re: Big Thunder Crash Questions??

    You are more likely to be the victim of an automobile accident, while lying in bed at home, then you are to experience a major accident on Big Thunder.

    Seriously, it's nothing you should be concernded about in the slightest.......now the hamburgers at the Village Haus, those you should be worried about
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  15. #15

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    Re: Big Thunder Crash Questions??

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyDreams714 View Post
    where are the pictures
    It's been a couple years since I saw them, so I don't remember where they are.

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