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Robert Niles

Busch Gardens riders caught in mid-air

Published: February 20, 2006 at 5:00 PM

Here's the scene: It's almost closing time, so you decide to catch the sky ride or train to avoid that long walk to the gate. Good choice, huh?

Well, that decision turned out to be the wrong choice for 73 visitors to Busch Gardens Tampa last Saturday night. At least, it was if they had someplace to get to. One of the cars on the Skyride got jammed, sticking those riders in mid-air for two hours after the park closed. Workers eventually cleared the jam and got the ride restarted, and no one was injured.

The lack of injuries is the reason why I didn't list the incident in our theme park accident database, which is for injury accidents only. (Heck, I'd always rather be on a ride that shut down and stranded me for a hour or two, than one that broke and hurt me.)

One recent incident that did make the database however (which I forgot to note on this page last week) was the incident at Peter Pan's Flight in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, where a 70-year-old man was injured when he was pinned between ride vehicles on the loading belt. The injuries were not life-threatening.

Replies (4)

Anthony Murphy

Published: February 20, 2006 at 8:15 PM

I think your documented it well! It doesn't count as an accident in my book! You would have very long accident reports if you had to put all rides that broke down! Do you have any more information about how the man got injured? Was it his fault? Disney's? Can anybody do about it? Is it really not a big deal? Sorry, I have had a bunch of homework to do lately so I haven't been watching TV!
Robert OGrosky

Published: February 20, 2006 at 10:25 PM

Im glad that i wouldnt be caught in the situation at BGT, as i always attempt to gert on the last coaster ride of the day and wouldnt get on the sky ride.
As for peter pan. from press reports it seemes the guy slipped and fell from the mopving platform and there was no ride malfunction and that cast members properly shut down the ride and got the guy the help that he needed.
Robert Niles

Published: February 20, 2006 at 10:56 PM

You've got it right, Robert O. The victim was in good condition by the next day and, I heard, was later released. Basically, he was on a moving platform, and fell. It happens. That's one of the main reasons we've got the accident database -- to remind people that many rides involve heavy machinery and to be careful with them. Part of being careful is helping younger and older riders in your group, too. Do what you can to reduce the chances that you, or someone in your group, would get hurt.
Gareth H

Published: February 21, 2006 at 11:15 AM

He's fine. Just a bit shaken. I also reported it on here but it didn't get posted.

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