Six Flags Roller Coaster Derailment Highlights Safety Concern for Parents

ninja six flags magic mountainScary story for parents of thrill seekers and roller coaster fanatics today. The famous Ninja ride at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California, collided with a fallen pine tree on Monday night, derailing the first car of the roller coaster and leaving all riders stranded 20 feet in the air for several hours. Even worse, the coaster is suspended (the riders hang underneath the track), so the passengers were left dangling before Los Angeles County firefighters were able to rescue them all.

The first four passengers, who were all in the initial car, suffered minor injuries and were later taken to a nearby hospital after complaining of knee and neck pain.

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It seems people are OK, but if you're worried about letting the kids hit the roller coasters because of this incident, join the club. Any time an incident at an amusement park makes the news, it sends parents into a tailspin.

But you don't have to cancel the trip because of one scary roller coaster mishap so much as plan better. Most amusement parks and carnivals have daily updates, located on monitors by the main entrance, about which coasters are or will be closed.

Check out sites sites Coaster101, SaferParks, or the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) prior to your visit to gather information about the latest closings or accidents at the park you intend to visit. The Roller Coaster DataBase has specific info about each possible ride you'll encounter, including speed, heights, inversions, and drops you'll see on the track. That way you'll be able to better plan whether or not a coaster might be appropriate for you or the children.

And while it's wise to stay up-to-date on safety concerns, a word of caution to folks who are freaking about the kids hitting the local amusement park: the chances of injury at a theme park are 1 in 24 million, according to the IAAPA.

How do you plan your theme park visits?


 

Image via Jeremy Thompson/Flickr

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