2022 seems to have been a year when theme and amusement park rides went unusually haywire. Many people have been stuck on rides, injured, and even killed in tragic accidents, and while nobody was apparently hurt in this most recent incident, that doesn't make the video any less terrifying.
The accident occurred last night on a slingshot attraction at Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland in London. The ride is a pretty simple thrill experience where a couple riders get into a metal ball that is that flung into the air attached to a pair of heavy duty elastic bands. Unfortunately, as a video posted to Twitter show, immediately after the ride begins for two teenage boys, one of the straps gives way, sending the riders into a metal support pole. Check it out.
Winter wonderland slingshot fail 😲😲 pic.twitter.com/u8Ai7Q6YCIDecember 15, 2022
While this could have gone very badly for the riders, the BBC reports that the two teens inside, after being rescued from the pod, were checked on by medical staff and neither suffered any injuries.
The Amusement Device Inspection Procedures Scheme, which monitors the safety of amusement rides in the UK, was on site this morning and according to them, the elastic band and steel cable did not snap. Rather, there was a malfunction in a gear box that handles the release of the cable.
It's probably a good thing the line failed immediately, as things could have potentially been much worse if there was more momentum in the pod when the line snapped. The cause of the incident is under investigation and obviously the attraction is closed down.
This is obviously a nightmare scenario as thrill rides like this are designed to make people feel like they are in danger, without actually putting them in any danger at all. Many people who don't go on these sorts of rides specifically avoid them because they are afraid of this sort of thing happening. It almost never does, of course, but it only takes once.
This accident (hopefully) caps off a year that has been full of numerous unfortunate amusement ride incidents. In March a teenager in Florida died when he fell from a FreeFall ride tower at Icon Park. After being out of commission since then it was recently confirmed the tower would be removed from the park.
A significant number of roller coaster have also taken place over the course of the year. In August several injuries were reported on the El Toro at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey. An inspection of El Toro later found significant damage to the structure. A month earlier a roller coaster accident at an amusement park in Denmark resulted in the death of a 14-year-old girl.
One hopes that this rash of accidents and malfunctions will encourage all those who run amusement attractions to make sure they are in working order, and that staff are properly trained.
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CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.