Things That Matter

Freak Rollercoaster Accident In Mexico City Kills Two And Injured Dozens Others

A speeding rail car on a roller coaster flipped over mid-ride at the famous Mexican amusement park, “Feria de Chapultepec”,  last Saturday afternoon. The accident happened on the popular Chimera rollercoaster at the amusement park in Miguel Hidalgo, Mexico City.

According to SUUMA Voluntarios (Universitary System of Medical Urgent Care), two people were killed and three more were injured when the roller coaster jumped its track and plunged toward the ground. An additional six riders on the roller coaster were treated for shock

Mexico City’s attorney general’s office confirmed that two men, aged 18 and 21, died of head and other injuries when the last car on the ride derailed at La Feria. Two women were also hurt.  

A video shared on social media appears to show one of the carriages coming off the tracks.

Notimex reported that eyewitnesses told local media that the accident happened when the carriage hit a metal structure that was also part of the ride and the victims fell to the ground after the impact. Eyewitness Rosalba Rodríguez told reporters there was nothing out of the ordinary about the ride, which had completed a few loops, until she saw the last carriage fall.

The park was closed after the accident, and prosecutors are already investigating the cause, to find who was responsible.

The amusement park was closed soon after the incident, and authorities are investigating the cause of the accident. “This is now in the hands of prosecutors, and prosecutors have already taken the necessary steps for an investigation,” Miriam Urzúa, an official from the civil protection organization, told Reuters news agency. She said the investigation would be looking into both, what happened, and who was responsible. 

Ulises Lara López, spokesman for the citie’s attorney general’s office said that preliminary investigations indicate a mechanical failure caused the car to come loose and fall 10 meters (33 feet) above the ground. Authorities are treating the incident as a case of negligent homicide. 

The fair said it “deeply regrets the terrible accident” and that they too will investigate alongside the relevant authorities.

The message posted to the amusement park’s Facebook page, informed users that its priority is to offer all the support the victims and their families require at this time. “The safety of our visitors is a priority for La Feria de Chapultepec, which is why we will be suspending activities at the park, to provide the proper attention and follow up of protocols, safety measures and maintenance of our installations—which are routinely subjected to inspections of both national and international standards”. The park’s statement concluded by offering its “deepest condolences to [the] families [of those who died] and reiterate that they have all our support.”

The “Quimera” rollercoaster in Chapultepec Park, now “La Feria” can be spotted from afar in the capital. The ride features three nearly vertical yellow and red loops visible from major highway, Periférico. The decades old coaster, like many rides in La Feria, was featured at other parks around the world before finding a home in Mexico City. The tragic accident comes a few months after two were killed and dozens were injured when a swinging amusement park ride broke free and crashed to the ground in India in July.

While amusement park rides are generally safe, understanding the types of risks involved can further lower your odds of an accident.

According to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions’ (IAAPA) yearly safety reports, 1.7 billion rides in the United States resulted in 1,343 injuries in 2008, of which 80 required overnight hospitalization. While amusement park rides are generally safe, understanding the types of risks involved can further lower your odds of an accident.

Mechanical failures are rare, thanks to the intense inspections that rides undergo. Nonetheless, if a ride looks rickety or unstable, or if any part of your seat seems loose or broken, skip the ride. Pay attention to signage and verbal instructions from the ride operator. Keep your feet on the floor, face forward with your head back against the headrest and stay fully seated. Brace yourself with your hands. Tie back long hair and place loose items in a locker.

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