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  1. #1

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    Woman falls out of New Texas Giant at Six Flags Over Texas

    Sad accident tonight at Six Flags Over Texas. A woman fell out of the New TX Giant and unfortunately died. We'll update this thread with news as we more information is revealed.

    Woman Falls From The Texas Giant To Her Death « CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

    ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) - Arlington police are on the scene at Six Flags Over Texas where witnesses say a woman has plummeted to her death from a roller coaster.
    It happened on the Texas Giant, the tallest steel-hybrid roller coaster in the world.
    Six Flags spokesperson Sharon Parker sent the following statement to CBS 11 via email.

    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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    Re: Woman falls out of New Texas Giant at Six Flags Over Texas

    I actually heard about the event through a video I saw in my subscriptions box.



    I am deeply saddened by this accident and hope the root(s) of the problem will be found and fixed as soon as possible to prevent any further losses.



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  3. #3

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    Re: Woman falls out of New Texas Giant at Six Flags Over Texas

    I read she was a mother riding with her son in law and daughter. So sad. Prayers go out to the family. I hope that Six Flags Over Texas keeps the coaster shut down until they can figure out the true cause. Was an interesting story about the family saying her safety harness only clicked once.

  4. #4

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    Re: Woman falls out of New Texas Giant at Six Flags Over Texas

    ^ The "clicking" story that has been going around is actually not accurate.

    The restraints on New Texas Giants are Hydraulic restraints (similar to Xcelerator at knott's) and don't actually "click". In order for the restraints to fail it would have had to have a catastrophic failure on multiple systems as there are many redundancies on those systems.

    The rider has been identified. Sadly this seems to be very similar to the incident on Perilous Plunge but obviously we don't know at this point.

    http://www.wfaa.com/news/local/perso...216239501.html


  5. #5

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    Re: Woman falls out of New Texas Giant at Six Flags Over Texas

    CNN is reporting "A witness said the woman had expressed concern that she was not properly secured in her seat Friday on the Texas Giant roller coaster."

    ...[Carmen] Brown told the Dallas Morning News that the woman had expressed concern to a park employee that she was not properly secured in her seat.

    "He was basically nonchalant," Brown said. "He was, like, 'As long as you heard it click, you're fine.' Hers was the only one that went down once, and she didn't feel safe. But they let her still get on the ride."
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  6. #6

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    Re: Woman falls out of New Texas Giant at Six Flags Over Texas

    ^ As I mentioned, the ride restraints don't "click". There are quite a few things in this Carmen's story that make me think she's just out to get her face on TV.

    Just as an FYI:

    There were 1,204 ride-related injuries reported in the United States in 2011 — about 4.3 for every million visitors — according to the National Safety Council's most recent data. Of those, 61 were deemed serious. '

    That's an INCREDIBLE safety record. You are more at risk of choking on a piece of popcorn on your couch than getting injured on a roller coaster.


  7. #7

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    Re: Woman falls out of New Texas Giant at Six Flags Over Texas

    Really great article about the incident. For once it looks like somebody in the media did some actual research.

    Investigation of Texas Giant accident to be led by Six Flags | Dallasnews.com - News for Dallas, Texas - The Dallas Morning News

    The public is no closer to knowing what caused a Dallas mother’s fatal fall from the Texas Giant roller coaster Friday night in Arlington. When answers do arrive, they will almost certainly come from Six Flags Over Texas via its legal and public relations team rather than an independent investigator.
    Both the Arlington police and fire departments were called to the scene. But neither is expected to conduct long, intensive investigations because Rosy Esparza’s death was believed to be an accident.
    The state regulator is on the case, but the Texas Department of Insurance’s primary duty is ensuring the rides have insurance and are inspected. That’s not an issue in this case.
    Six Flags officials initially said they were “working with authorities” to determine the cause of the fatality. Later, they acknowledged that this is an internal investigation into only the second customer to die on a ride since the park opened in 1961.
    Kenneth Martin, a roller coaster inspector and accident investigator often hired by lawyers and manufacturers, said there is no Texas agency responsible for accident investigations. And police tend to not pursue deaths and serious injuries without evidence of a crime.
    “In all likelihood do you think Six Flags is going to come out and say ‘we screwed up,’” he said. “Probably not.”
    He said the lack of governmental oversight may mean the factors contributing to the woman’s death remain unknown.
    Those determining the cause will likely be Six Flags staff, its insurance company, an inspector hired by the park or insurance company, and the German firm that manufactured the cars. With a lawsuit against Six Flags likely, it’s not certain how much information will be made public soon.
    In a written statement, a Six Flags spokeswoman said that it was too early to comment in detail on the cause.
    “We are committed to determining the cause of this tragic accident and will utilize every resource throughout this process,” wrote Sharon Parker, a park spokeswoman. “It would be a disservice to the family to speculate regarding what transpired. When we have new information to provide, we will do so. Our thoughts, prayers and full support remain with the family.”
    Several of Esparza’s family members declined to comment. At least one family member said they had hired an attorney.
    Ride closed
    Arlington police responded to a 911 call at the park about 6:30 p.m. Officers helped “gather preliminary details, interview witnesses and rule out foul play,” said Sgt. Christopher Cook, a department spokesman.
    He said a report on their death investigation would not be available earlier than Monday. There is no criminal investigation.
    Parker said the ride would remain closed until Six Flags’ internal investigation is complete.
    Jerry Hagins, state Department of Insurance spokesman, said the ride can’t legally reopen until it is re-inspected and proof of that is provided to the state.
    Witnesses reported that Esparza fell from one of the roller coaster’s cars as it rounded a turn Friday evening.
    One witness, Carmen Brown of Arlington, said Esparza was concerned that her safety restraint was not properly secured. Brown said a Six Flags worker assured the victim that she was fine.
    “She was nervous and panicking,” Brown said.
    The witness. however. mentioned concerns about the number of times the safety bar clicked when it was lowered. But a representative of the manufacturer said there would be no clicking sound in the hydraulically operated mechanism.
    “We have to investigate what has happened there,” said Tobias Lindnar, project manager for Gerstlauer Amusement Rides. “I’m sure there’s no safety bar that is broken.”
    He said the 30-year-old ride manufacturer based in Münsterhausen, Germany has never had problems with the safety bars in its cars. The firm has built about 50 roller coasters throughout the world. No one was ever seriously injured or killed on one until Friday, Lindnar said.
    Lindnar said from Germany late Saturday that he didn’t want to speak about how a hydraulic bar would operate or whether or not employees at the park should be able to gauge whether a person’s body is too close to the front of the train car to prevent the bar from being effective enough.
    “At this time I don’t want to speak about the technicals,” he said. “It’s not so easy. It’s some special equipment.”
    He said once the ride begins, there’s no chance of opening the safety bar.
    “Next week we will be on site and we will see what has happened,” he said.
    Safety bars
    Eventually, there should be a ruling about whether there was a mechanical failure or whether Esparza was not secured properly in the car. There could be other scenarios.
    Martin, the ride investigator, said roller coasters have one-size-fits-all safety bars, generally designed for someone who weighs 180 pounds.
    He said most parks rely on the manufacturer’s information to determine how far from the starting position a safety bar should be in relation to a person’s weight in order to be effective.
    Park employees should be trained to determine whether a safety bar is in a safe position in relation to a person’s body weight, Martin said.
    It’s not known if the Six Flags employee who checked the safety restraint of Esparza, who was a large woman, took that into account.
    Martin said determining someone’s weight is difficult.
    Before Friday, few injuries on the newly reconstructed Texas Giant had been reported to the state. The state Department of Insurance showed four injuries since the ride reopened in 2011.
    The $10 million project transformed it from a wooden roller coaster into a wooden-steel hybrid coaster. It was named the Best New Ride of 2011 by an industry group.
    Overall, the park reported 110 injuries to the state since the start of the 2008 season. These reports, however, are submitted by the ride operators with little outside scrutiny.
    Nationally, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions published a report in March that said in 2011, 4.3 in 1 million people who visited a park or attraction sustained an injury on a ride. The numbers were based on a survey of parks that self-reported injuries on their properties.
    “Events like this are extremely rare, and safety is the No. 1 priority for the amusement park industry,” association spokeswoman Colleen Mangone said Saturday.
    The data did not tabulate deaths.
    The only other death of a guest on a Six Flags Over Texas ride occurred in 1999 when a Roaring Rapids raft capsized. Valeria Cartwright of West Helena, Ark., drowned and 10 others were injured.
    Staff Writer Tanya Eiserer contributed to this report.


  8. #8

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    Re: Woman falls out of New Texas Giant at Six Flags Over Texas

    Quote Originally Posted by sir clinksalot View Post
    Really great article about the incident. For once it looks like somebody in the media did some actual research.

    Investigation of Texas Giant accident to be led by Six Flags | Dallasnews.com - News for Dallas, Texas - The Dallas Morning News

    Unfortunately riding Roller Coasters can be a dangerous endeavor. I remember this story below back when Colossus opened.

    In 1978, a 20-year-old woman was ejected from the Colossus ride, and fell to her death -


    Another article about a worker at this link.

    Roller Coaster Worker Dies at Magic Mountain - Los Angeles Times

  9. #9

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    Re: Woman falls out of New Texas Giant at Six Flags Over Texas

    ^ You are pulling out two stories that happened 20 years apart.

    The first one yes, it was a tragedy and as such Colossus was changed. The 2nd one, the employee actually tried to jump over the station tracks.

    Anything can be dangerous, but statistically speaking, riding Roller Coasters is safer than walking to your mailbox.


  10. #10

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    Re: Woman falls out of New Texas Giant at Six Flags Over Texas

    Quote Originally Posted by sir clinksalot View Post
    Anything can be dangerous, but statistically speaking, riding Roller Coasters is safer than walking to your mailbox.
    Roller coasters and airplanes... you never hear the story of how thousands ride/use these conveyances daily without incident. Unfortunately, when one of them goes bad it is usually with dire results.

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    Re: Woman falls out of New Texas Giant at Six Flags Over Texas

    ^ Exactly. The reason why it's such big news when something like this happens is because it doesn't happen very often.

    It's sad all the way around when it does but a little perspective always helps.


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    Re: Woman falls out of New Texas Giant at Six Flags Over Texas

    This is a great article regarding the incident and Roller Coaster safety in general:

    Register-Pajaronian Don’t condemn theme parks after freak accidents

    A freak accident, according to Webster’s dictionary, is defined as “oddly different from what is usual or normal.”

    Examples include being struck by lightning, Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant snapping his achilles heel during a routine move … and also, as we heard about Friday, a woman falling out of Texas Giant at Six Flags Over Texas to her death and a boat flipping over on Shoot the Rapids at Cedar Point, causing moderate injuries.

    Before you pull out your pitchforks and call for the death of theme parks, remember this: These were freak accidents, both extremely rare and isolated incidents.

    Roller coasters have come a long ways, especially safety-wise, since their birth. They’ve got lap bars, single, sometimes double seatbelts, over-the-shoulder restraints. Ride designers have learned to create a teardrop-shaped loop rather than a neck-snapping perfect circle.

    But still, freak accidents do happen, although they are rare. The last fatality to happen on a roller coaster in the United States at a major theme park (excluding carnivals) was in July 2011, when a man, a U.S. Army veteran who had lost both of his legs in Iraq, was ejected from Ride of Steel at Darien Lake in New York, according to amusementsafety.org.

    When an accident happens, it makes national news. Why? Because it is nearly unheard of. A freak accident, if you will.

    And that is a testament to the safety of roller coasters.

    We come to expect it — it’s a given — and they always deliver. When we hear that a ride’s safety mechanisms have failed, we are shocked.

    As both Texas Giant and Shoot the Rapids are currently under inspection and closed, we don’t know for certain what truly caused the safeguards of these rides to fail. But that doesn’t stop the general public to become “experts” on the situation, just because they have a camera in front of them, or worse, a keyboard.

    Among the many, many cringe-worthy comments posted on various news websites was this one posted by (surprise) an anonymous writer on CNN.com: “Blame goes to these adventure parks for glamorizing these risky rides.”

    Are roller coasters risky? In a sense, yes. But so is everything else … driving, riding a bike, playing a sport.

    People die or are injured in car crashes every day. You are more at risk of dying in a car crash on your way to a theme park than you are at the actual park itself. Where is the outrage after a fatal car accident? Because they are commonplace.

    Rumors have been floating around about the Texas Giant incident, many of which claim that the woman was “too large” to fit on the ride (later reports show that the woman was indeed overweight), and that the restraints did not properly lock.

    But again, this is all speculation. News reports have gone squarely on witness statements, which often contradict each other, and more often than not, are false. As has been pointed out before, the Dallas Morning News quoted a witness saying the lap bar did not “click” in place, and that the ride operator was “nonchalant.”

    However, Texas Giant’s lap bars use a hydraulic restraint system, which do not “click” when secured. Also, green lights on the back of the train’s cars tell the ride operators that all lap bars are secured. If not, the train can not be dispatched.

    Six Flags Over Texas wisely refused to speculate, instead doing the right thing and assuring guests that safety is their top priority, and a full investigation will reveal what really happened.

    There’s no denying the fact that what happened Friday was tragic and cast a dark cloud over the amusement industry. But to disregard the stellar safety records of theme parks and roller coasters and instead condemn them as “death traps” after one freak accident is ignorant and foolish.


  13. #13

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    Re: Woman falls out of New Texas Giant at Six Flags Over Texas

    I like to point out, when people compare roller coaster accidents to other "unsafe" things, those activities that are a lot more dangerous are necessary. Transportation is needed, eating is needed, walking is needed....roller coasters are optional. I'm sure driving is a lot more safe than swinging on a trapeze, it's just one matters to me.

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    Re: Woman falls out of New Texas Giant at Six Flags Over Texas

    The fact that riding roller coasters isn't a "necessity" doesn't make them any less safe.

    The things that are necessities should be as safe as Roller Coasters are. Sadly that's not true.
    Last edited by sir clinksalot; 07-26-2013 at 07:27 AM.


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