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Big Thunder RR, Disneyland Derails


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11 replies to this topic

#1 of 12 OFFLINE   Ron-P

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Posted September 05 2003 - 09:04 AM

http://abclocal.go.c....eyland_ax.html

Quote:
ANAHEIM — A locomotive broke loose from a train on Disneyland's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster attraction Friday, killing one person and injuring 10 others, officials said.
The fatality was an adult male, said city spokesman John Nicoletti.

Additional information wasn't immediately available, police Sgt. Rick Martinez said.

One victim had been reported in critical condition earlier at the University of California Irvine Medical Center in Orange. It was unclear if that was the person who died.

The roller coaster accident occurred at 11:20 a.m., Disneyland spokeswoman Ruthy Flores said.

Television news helicopters broadcast scenes of a triage unit set up near the ride and one person being wheeled to an ambulance on a stretcher.

The roller coaster takes amusement park visitors on a twisting, turning ride aboard what is supposed to be a runaway train in the Old West. Riders zoom through mineshafts and caverns, past falling rocks and tumbling waterfalls.

The ride is computer operated, said Joe Aguirre, a park spokesman. It opened in 1979 and is newer than the Space Mountain attraction, which opened in 1977, and Matterhorn Bobsleds, which debuted in 1959.


One dead, very sad. The family and I have annual passes and ride this all the time, very scary stuff. Wasn't too long ago a person was killed by the flying cleat from the Columbia.


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#2 of 12 OFFLINE   Khoa Tran

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Posted September 05 2003 - 10:18 AM

the driftwood theater is near disneyland?!?!, can i come over and watch?!? =D

#3 of 12 OFFLINE   Jonathan Burk

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Posted September 05 2003 - 10:36 AM

That is terrible, terrible news. It will be interesting to see what the cause is, with the maintanence budgets having been slashed in the last couple of years.

#4 of 12 OFFLINE   DonRoeber

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Posted September 05 2003 - 01:13 PM

Wow. And here I was being upset that the Thunder Mountain Rail Road will be closed in DisneyWorld when I'm there this October.

My condolences to the families. Nobody ever thinks of being injured, much less killed, at a "safe" place like an amusement park.
Luckily, right at that moment, an unconscious Argentinean fell through my roof.

He was quickly joined by a dwarf dressed as a nun.

#5 of 12 OFFLINE   Scott L

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Posted September 05 2003 - 02:35 PM

Disneyworld or Disneyland? They won't close the one in Florida because of the accident in Cali will they?

#6 of 12 OFFLINE   Todd Hochard

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Posted September 05 2003 - 03:14 PM

Quote:
They won't close the one in Florida because of the accident in Cali will they?
I think it's been closed for a time for scheduled maintenance, and due to open near Thanksgiving or Christmas?
I have trouble fathoming how this ride could do any serious damage, considering how mild it is in comparison to many of the coasters at Universal (e.g. Hulk and Dueling Dragons).
I sincerely hope that the full story comes out. I've been reading rumors that the car did not leave the track, and that the deceased died of cardiac arrest, and also that he didn't. ???
I have to be honest, though- it doesn't worry me much. I still have a 100x better chance of dying on the 25 minute drive to WDW, than I do at the park.

Todd
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#7 of 12 OFFLINE   Steve_Tk

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Posted September 05 2003 - 05:13 PM

That's a shame. It's only a matter of hours till we hear about the lawsuits.

#8 of 12 OFFLINE   Todd Hochard

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Posted September 06 2003 - 03:35 AM

Here's an article with a bit more detail.

http://www.sfgate.co....715EDT0117.DTL

They shut it down in Tokyo.

http://mdn.mainichi.....fp016000c.html
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#9 of 12 OFFLINE   Chris Bardon

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Posted September 06 2003 - 04:12 AM

I was just reading an article the other day about ride inspections (I can't recall the link though). It talked about one of the coaster inspectors at Busch gardens, and how it was a 6 hour inspection of all coaster components every day to ensure safety. I can only assume that Disney is as thorough...and at what they charge for admission they should be! I'll be interested to see what actually happened to the ride.
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#10 of 12 OFFLINE   Jonathan Burk

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Posted September 06 2003 - 09:59 AM

Al Lutz has been a thorn in the side of Disney for years, but he is extremely knowledgeable about the goings on at Disneyland.

His preliminary write up is here, for those wanting more information:

http://www.miceage.c...z/al090603a.htm

#11 of 12 OFFLINE   Chris Lockwood

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Posted September 07 2003 - 03:28 AM

> the driftwood theater is near disneyland?!?!

The fact that Ron has the word Disneyland under his name was my first clue. Posted Image

#12 of 12 OFFLINE   Dana Fillhart

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Posted September 07 2003 - 04:50 AM

Very sad to hear this.

I was there with the HTF National Meet in September of 2001 (almost exactly two years ago, whoa), and I actually took some video clips while on the ride -- I believe Ron Epstein was with me on this ride at the time I took the clips, too. I looked through the three 15-second clips I have, and I think I have the spot the accident occurred on one of the mpegs (information on the link provided by Jonathan above describes the location as being in one of the tunnels that banks to the right before exiting and turning to the left, which describes at least one of the two or three tunnel shots I have). The clips are quite jerky (obviously; try holding a camera still on any rollercoaster!), but I was near the back of the ride so you can definitely make out most of the surroundings and the excitement of the riders and the noise of the ride itself. Unfortunately, though, I don't have the means to make them available for download.

I hope the injured recover well, and wish well for the family of the deceased.

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