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Accident Watch

What is Accident Watch?

In the United States, no official source is keeping a complete national record of theme park accidents. And in many U.S. states, including Florida, theme parks are not legally required to report accidents involving injury to anyone.

That's why Theme Park Insider users are stepping up, to provide amusement park safety data that the public needs, and ought to be entitled to get.

In 2001, the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and the Online News Association honored Accident Watch with the Online Journalism Award for Service Journalism.

Recent Verified Incidents

Ride of Steel at Darien Lake
7/8/2011
James Hackemer, 29, an Iraq War veteran who had lost both legs in the war three years prior, died when he fell from the Ride of Steel roller coaster.

Recent Reports Awaiting Verification

The Mine Shaft at Six Flags Fiesta Texas
7/31/2013
My 9 year son was riding the ride with his dad. The tube they were riding in flipped inside the ride. My son hit the side of the enclosed tube with his upper part of his mouth knocking him unconscious. Pushed two teeth up inside the gums and shattered the bone holding the teeth. When the accident occurred, there was no first aide given at the ride, his dad had to carry him to First Aide station and then drive him to emergency room. He has had to have surgeries and will have extensive repairs until he is 21. Fiesta Texas has refused to take any responsibility for the accident and has not even once check to see how my son is doing.

How to stay safe at a theme park

For more information on how you can keep yourself and your family safe on theme park rides, check out this advice from Theme Park Insider and its readers.

Browse recent theme park accident reports

You'll find the five most recent verified accidents reported to Theme Park Insider on the right of this page. A complete list of all verified accidents reported to us is available here.

How to report an accident

You can submit an accident report for any attraction listed on Theme Park Insider from its attraction listing page. Or, go straight to the report submission pages by using this form.

Official information

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission surveys a sample of U.S. hospitals to collect information about product injuries, including those at amusement parks. However, this survey does not include incidents from seven of the nation's most popular theme parks, including those at Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando. Nor does the survey include injuries that required medical care, but not a trip to an emergency room.

The CPSC has used this survey data to create a report on amusement ride injuries and deaths from 1987 to 2004. The CPSC estimated 3,400 accidents at fixed site parks in 2004.

The CPSC also provides an overview of what states are--or are not--doing to inspect rides. (Adobe Acrobat Reader required for both reports.)

These remain the best *official* sources of information on theme park safety in the United States.


Stories from a Theme Park Insider

Stories from a Theme Park Insider

What's it like to work in a theme park? Stories from a Theme Park Insider takes you inside the famous tunnels and backstage at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom for a look at how theme parks really work, sharing the funny moments and embarrassments that can happen when your job is someone else's vacation.
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