May 2022 Monthly Ride Report Recap

In May 2022, there were seven (7) amusement ride injuries reported in the media. Two occurred in India, one each in France, Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru, and USA (Texas). Three occurred in waterparks, three in mobile operations (carnival / fair).

05 May 2022, a 28-year old male patron at Anandi Water Park, India, reportedly repositioned to take a selfie and lost balance, sustaining fatal injury on impact with the concrete below. Link

07 May 2022, a worker at Foire du Trône in France was struck by a Crazy Mouse ride vehicle while inside the ride enclosure, sustaining fatal head injury. While worker injuries, even fatalities, are not tabulated in our system, this report indicates that 12 patrons received onsite medical care for shock. Link | Link

07 May 2022, a waterslide at Kenjeran Park in Surabaya, Indonesia was reportedly overloaded and segments of the slide separated from the structure and fell. Nine people fell as a result, sustaining head injuries and other fractures. A total of 16 were injured. The slide’s maximum capacity was “5-10”. Link | Link | Link | Link The hazard of overloading a waterslide has long been known, at least since a fatal injury in 1997 at a California waterpark that also injured 32 others. Link Because patrons are unaware that fibreglass waterslide structures are not as strong as they appear, it must be the responsibility of the operator to ensure riders to not overload the slide.

08 May 2022, a rider using a patron directed car ride at Kinta Riverwalk in Malaysia steered into a “closed” but not fenced-off track and the vehicle tipped into the river. Link

21 May 2022, a 12-year old boy who experienced a seizure while at Hurricane Harbor Splashtown waterpark in Texas (USA) was rescued by lifeguards and was transported to hospital. This illustrates the importance of vigilant lifeguards. Link

23 May 2022, a Tagadà ride was operating at Play Park in Peru, contrary to the venue permit allowing only non-mechanical play devices, when part of the scenery detached and struck several riders while the ride was in motion. Reports did not specify the number of injured but reported that one sustained a serious head injury. Media reports include a video of the malfunction. Link | Link

26 May 2022, a 12 year old girl, required treatment in hospital when a mobile kiddy jeep style ride derailed at the Fish Theme Fair in India and the ride vehicle fell onto her. Link

Reports of injury in previous periods

Events occurring in prior periods receive media coverage for various reasons, often because of litigation milestones (claims filed, decision reached), anniversaries of notable events, and references arising from recent similar events. New reports were added to recaps of events in March 2022.

A roller coaster accident on 12 May 1930 appeared in a news feature. A common question about serious ride accidents is whether the ride reopens. My response is that it depends on whether the ride can be made safe, but also whether the public will return to buy tickets. In this case, Springfield Lake Park in Akron, Ohio (US) closed and its assets auctioned for an amount below its pre-accident valuation as a result of this crash on the Radio Streak coaster. This roller coaster required manual braking, as was common in old roller coasters, but the brake operator was away from his station and unable to activate the brake in time to prevent collision. Thirteen people were injured, five seriously and eight with minor fractures and other injuries, while ten were uninjured. Link

On an unspecified date in “Fall 2021”, a zipline patron was alarmed to find the harness wrapped around her neck rather than her waist. This occurrence is reported in the context of commencement of litigation against the operator, Urban Air Adventure Park (US IL). Link

Excluded reports

Some media reports are outside the scope of the database. Riders stuck on stopped rides are popular topics for human-interest stories. Also excluded are media reports that cover multiple cases without specifics of each case. Employee injuries are also excluded, but can attract media interest. 

A roller coaster at Nanchang Sunac Land in Nanchang, China experienced a voltage fluctuation that activated the safety control system, halting the train on the lift hill to ensure that riders were not exposed to hazards arising from uncontrollable conditions. After a 30-minute wait at a reported 77m elevation above ground, riders were reportedly evacuated by stairs installed for that purpose. While the irresponsible headline announced “Roller coaster in China malfunctions and leaves 18 stranded”, the ride did not “strand” anybody. Riders were held safely secured their seat in a train secured on the track pending preparations to evacuate them following the established procedure. The report claims the riders “made it safely back to the ground by walking down a track”, the photo makes it clear that they are walking down a staircase with a railing. The report included the subhead “Theme parks should have safety precautions in place”. That is completely true, but the use of this subhead suggests that was not the case in this instance. In fact, this occurrence illustrates the correct use of those safety precautions, both the sensors that detected the voltage fluctuation and stopped the ride from proceeding, and provision of stairs including a safety railing that allows safe exit from the stopped train. The park gave the affected riders a refund of their ticket or a ticket for another day, while the report highlights rejected claims for additional “compensation” of 1,000 Yuan. The vast majority of roller coaster ride cycles start and end at the loading platform, but a small fraction will entail “plan B” which is evacuation for safety reasons. If riders do not wish to descend a 77m-high staircase with a railing (and this is a completely understandable preference), they should not board a 77m-high roller coaster. Operators are not holding out on a magical alternative in which evacuation of the riders is never necessary. Link | Link

15 May 2022, The Big One roller coaster at Blackpool Pleasure Beach stopped on the lift hill and required an evacuation via the stairs. Typically, the occurrence was described as “terrifying, despite a walk up the same lift hill stairs is offered as a premium, exclusive experience. Obviously, patrons who choose a track walk expect the occurrence, but anyone who rides a 235 foot tall roller coaster should be prepared for the rare occurrence of unloading at an alternate location, including the top of the lift hill, because stopping a train before a collision or other malfunction is more important than avoiding an orderly unload from a non-preferred position. Link | Link

21 May 2022, a particularly strong storm passed through southern Ontario, resulting in several rides at Canada’s Wonderland being stopped with riders on board. Link

31 May 2022, the Aero 360 ride at Kennywood (US PA) stopped while inverted. The reason for the stoppage was not reported. The ride was manually returned to the unload position and riders were evacuated. No injuries were reported. Link | Link

03 May 2022, a worker fell from a Ferris wheel at Gillian’s Wonderland (US NJ) sustaining fatal injury. Link

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About Kathryn Woodcock

Dr. Kathryn Woodcock is Professor at Toronto Metropolitan University, teaching, researching, and consulting in the area of human factors engineering / ergonomics particularly applied to amusement rides and attractions (, and to broader occupational and public safety issues of performance, error, investigation and inspection, and to disability and accessibility.