12 Six Flags Amusement Park Accidents We'd All Like To Forget

Six Flags Roller Coaster Theme Park Excited

Photo: Darren McCollester/Getty Images

More than 290 million people visited theme parks in the U.S. in 2010, enjoying 1.7 billion rides.For all the fear associated with those rides, theme parks are extremely safe. According to the National Safety Council’s survey of conditions at parks, only 1,299 of those 290 million suffered injuries.

That includes mild injuries like twisted ankles and scraped knees, Bill Powers of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions says.

Unfortunately, a few incidents have proven fatal over the years, for a variety of reasons.

Nevertheless, visitors keep coming back. 

On Wednesday, Six Flags reported fourth-quarter earnings of $2.60 per share and $143.9 million in sales, well above analysts’ consensus estimates for a loss of $0.99 per share and $135.2 million in sales. The stock jumped 5 per cent on the day.

In light of the news, we take a look at some of the worst accidents to take place at Six Flags over the years.

Note: Eric Platt contributed to this feature.

Girl loses both feet on Superman: Tower of Power ride

Date: June 21, 2007

Park: Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom

Story: As the riders ascended the Superman: Tower of Power ride, a broken cable snapped, whipped around, and severed a 13-year old girl's feet.

Source: The Courier-Journal

Park employee flung from Rolling Thunder

Date: August 16, 1981

Park: Six Flags Great Adventure (N.J.)

Story: A park employee fell to his death during a test ride because, according to the park, he 'may have assumed an unauthorised riding position that did not make use of the safety feature of the restraining devices.'

Source: New York Times

Teenager is decapitated by Batman: The Ride roller coaster

Date: June 28, 2008

Park: Six Flags Over Georgia

Story: After losing his hat while riding the Batman: The Ride roller coaster, a teenager jumped over the fence surrounding the coaster to retrieve it. He was decapitated in the process.

Source: Fox News

A man dies when a Skybucket gondola breaks from cable and falls to ground below

Date: February 5, 1978

Park: Six Flags Magic Mountain (Calif.)

Story: A gondola carrying a couple fell from its cable 50 feet to the ground. The man was reportedly rocking the car before it fell. He was killed in the accident, while his wife was seriously injured.

Source: RideAccidents.com

Man falls to his death after being thrown from the Superman: Ride of Steel roller coaster

Date: May 1, 2004

Park: Six Flags New England (Mass.)

Story: A man was thrown from the final turn of the Superman: Ride of Steel roller coaster, hitting the rail and then falling only a few feet to the ground below. He was rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead on arrival.

Source: Boston Globe

Teenager falls from Lightnin' Loops roller coaster

Date: June 17, 1987

Park: Six Flags Great Adventure (N.J.)

Story: After not being strapped into her shoulder harness properly, a girl fell to her death during the loop-the-loop roller coaster ride.

Source: New York Times

Woman drowns in Roaring Rapids water park ride

Date: March 21, 1999

Park: Six Flags Over Texas

Story: A woman drowned when the inflatable boat she was in unexpectedly deflated and overturned in 2-3 feet of water and she was trapped underneath.

Source: Corpus Christi Caller Times

Girl's foot is crushed on the Cajun Cliffhanger

Date: July 19, 2000

Park: Six Flags Great America (Ill.)

Story: A girl's toes were crushed when the operator of the Cajun Cliffhanger raised floor of the ride before coming to a complete stop. The girl's foot was wedged between the floor and the wall.

Source: Chicago Tribune

23 people are stuck upside down in a loop on Demon for three hours

Date: April 18, 1998

Park: Six Flags Great America (Ill.)

Story: 20-three people were stuck upside on the Demon coaster for nearly three hours after one of the trains unexpectedly stopped moving during a vertical loop. Investigators ruled that a guide wheel running along the inside of the track separated from the axle of the last car, triggering a safety mechanism that kept the train from derailing. Several people were taken to the hospital after firefighters picked them up using cherry pickers.

Source: Chicago Tribune

Grandmother dies after Joker's Jukebox ride starts while she is strapping in her grandson

Date: July 10, 2003

Park: Six Flags New Orleans

Story: A grandmother was helping her four-year-old grandson get strapped into the Joker's Jukebox ride when the ride suddenly started and she was struck in the head by the ride car as it went by.

Source: Free Republic

Employee killed after crossing ride tracks in front of oncoming Revolution roller coaster

Date: May 30, 1996

Park: Six Flags Magic Mountain (Calif.)

Story: An employee tried to cross the tracks as the Revolution roller coaster was pulling into the loading area. She slipped on her way across, fell into a four-foot pit under the tracks, and was killed instantly when the roller coaster train struck her at 4 miles per hour.

Source: L.A. Times

Man is struck and killed by Ninja roller coaster

Date: August 30, 2008

Park: Six Flags Magic Mountain (Calif.)

Story: A man was struck by the roller coaster after entering a 'restricted area' to retrieve his hat.

Source: The Coaster Blog

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