Seatbelt not secured around 6-year-old who died falling from adventure park ride

Originally published at: Seatbelt not secured around 6-year-old who died falling from adventure park ride | Boing Boing


The new staff weren’t trained how to interpret the seatbelt alarm, but they were trained how to override it.

That is deliberate negligence, and will cost them dearly in more ways than just money. My deepest to the family for the untimely departure of their little one.


Yikes. How horrible.


Engineers can design 'em, but they’re going to be operated by poorly trained 19 year olds.


I mean if you can’t google the warning light how do they expect millennials to figure it out.

I rode this ride one week before the incident. It is unnerving to know that the operators who were involved may have also been the ones buckling me in. And considering the theming - it drops you down an actual mine shaft into the mountain, at the bottom of which are a pile of skeletons and a taunting ghost - I can’t imagine the psychological trauma the family experienced.


Pretty obvious negligence on the part of the amusement park, but why wouldn’t a parent or guardian be around to see that the six year old put on their seat belt?


Horrible story. I had a lucky escape some years ago (2003) at Playland in Rye, NY. The operator (again, a poorly trained teenager) on some wild ride failed to close my safety bar properly – I realized as the ride started and jumped out of my seat, falling about 6 ft to the ground. I wrote to complain and was told that the operator was fired, but the bigger issue is that as long as these places rely on cheap labor, accidents will continue to happen. (I see that Wikipedia lists three deaths at Playland that happened subsequent to my incident.) Why are amusement parks not held to the same standards as airlines?


(uh, that’s kind of an oxymoron.)

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Terrible story.

ps @beschizza:

invesigators sp


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What kind of alarm system allows a newly hired operator to reset it?


One with false positives that impede the proper accumulation of profit.


That poor family. I can’t even imagine what they’re going through. :cry:


It’s pretty common to have a family not readily able to check. Two kids and one adult means that one child is probably in another role.

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It’s a remarkably common failure pattern in industrial accidents, including Chernobyl. Basically, operators (even relatively well-trained ones) are more likely to assume the alarms are malfunctioning, rather than properly investigate what set them off in the first place, because they don’t have a complete mental model of the entire system, and cannot diagnose problems. It’s compounded by the fact that the more layers of safety you include, the more likely you’ll get false positives from the alarm systems, so the “just reset the alarms” fix gets normalized, and passed around between operators as the easiest way to get things working again.


This is also because many “safety precautions” are not there to prevent accidents. Really, not, they are there to deflect blame when they do.

The best example from our normal lives are stop or warning signs in traffic or all these warning labels on consumer products. They don’t prevent anything but they protect the party that put up those signs and labels from liability.

Same thing here, there was a warning sign forcing the operators to take actions make them liable and not the company. Job Done.

And now for the cynical coda: If these operators had taken the decision to stop the ride and check everything, read an SOP or warn a team leader they would have been yelled at for costing the company money.

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Exactly- just as environmental regulations don’t prevent harm to the environment. They just deflect blame- anyone who works in the green economy is just a shill for the fossil fuel industry.



This is a terrible example. A change of signage can cause roughly a 40% reduction in crashes at stop controlled intersections. Adding some blinking lights gets you another 10%. Similar reductions can be seen in other types of intersections. Sure other types of infrastructure changes can have larger impacts, but basic signage materially changes the rate of human death, not just who gets blamed.


Ignoring alarms is unheard of in my industry, and those results have even less of a direct impact on immediate personal health than not wearing a seatbelt, which in this case results in either life or death. Even so, our operators are typically high school graduates without college degrees. The problem here with the ride operators just ignoring alarms points to poor supervision and bad or a lack of training, and utter negligence.


I did indeed. It is probably best not to type posts while cooking and talking to the little one.

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