Kentucky blames Six Flags maintenance, operations for accident
Written by Robert Niles
The state of Kentucky has released its official report [PDF file] on the investigation into the Superman Tower of Power accident at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom last summer that cost a teen girl her feet.Tweet
And the state puts the blame, squarely, on Six Flags.
The report states:
"The cause of the cable failure has been determined to be fatigue, a progressive failure of the mechanism. The cable on the ride was in a condit ion that caused the cable to fail under its normal load in operation. It is impossible to scientifically determine how long the cable had been in a condition that could lead to the failure of the cable under its normal load. The cables when new are rated to carry at least six times the load placed upon them during normal ride operation."
The report also quotes an expert who said:
"The extent of progressive (fatigue) cracking would have made it possible for the park personnel to detect the deteriorating condition of the rope had they been following the inspection instructions given in the maintenance manual."
And it wasn't just a maintenance failure. The ride ops screwed up as well:
"In the [the state]’s opinion, the injuries to the ride patrons probably would have been limited to cuts and scrapes had the emergency stop button been pressed, in accordance with training, during the 10-second window of time between the loud noise followed by the cable falling and the freefall of the ride."
The result? Kentucky fined Six Flags $1,000.
Look for a jury (or, if the girl's family and the park settle, a judge) to add a "penalty" that's much, much larger.
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