It has been a tragic weekend at America's amusement parks. First there was a woman's horrifying fatal fall from a roller coaster at Six Flags amusement park in Arlington, Texas. Now comes news of a terrifying accident on a water ride at Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio, that injured seven people.
The accident, which happened on the popular Shoot the Rapids ride, occurred Friday at the park, which has been named the world's best amusement park for 15 years running. According to the Sandusky Register it happened around 6:42 p.m. when a boat carrying seven people rolled back down the lift hill it had just climbed. Witnesses told the paper the log flume -- and its riders who were strapped in-- were sent flying back into the entry chute, which was filled with water. Witnesses say the boat flipped over, and people were trapped.
My stomach drops just thinking of how terrified these people must have been.
Witnesses reportedly jumped into the water to get the boat turned upright, but some were said to have been submerged for some period of time. Matt Orr told the paper:
We jumped in and helped them get out. If we didn't help, I don't even know what would have happened.
Details are still coming in, but the good news is that there were no causalities. In fact, while all riders were evaluated and treated for injuries by Cedar Point First Aid staff, only one rider was taken to the hospital, according to a statement by the park. The extent of his or her injuries is unknown. By the sounds of things, this incident could have been much, much more tragic, though.
Cedar Point has since closed the ride, and it will remain closed until an investigation is complete. In a statement, the park said, "The safety of our guests is our number one priority."
I have to tell you, these accidents make me more reluctant to go on amusement park rides than ever. We live in the Orlando vicinity, so we go to various parks with some regularity, and the older I get, the more chicken I get. I always tell myself and my kids that millions of people ride these rides, and you rarely hear of anyone getting hurt. This weekend doesn't do much to support that rationale.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to these families.
Does this change how you feel about amusement park rides?
Image via Jeremy Thompson/Flickr