The spit-take-inducing story of the week

December 21, 2007, 5:32 PM · From the Asahi Shimbun in Japan:

The operator of the Expoland amusement park never conducted mandatory full-scale inspections of a roller coaster for 15 years until the ride derailed and killed a teenager in May, sources said.

The Fujin Raijin II derailed on May 5 of this year, killing 19-year-old Yoshino Kogawara instantly. Nineteen others were hurt in the accident, which was caused by a broken axle on the train.

What caused the broken axle? Would you believe metal fatigue, given that the axle was never replaced or even inspected in 15 years? Police would.

Two former park officials are now facing criminal charges and Asahi.com reports that the park's been closed since Dec. 10 due to... lack of visitors.

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