Today’s Fishtailing Yet Truly Morbid Fact!
On June 14, 1986, the Galaxyland Amusement Park, located inside the huge West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Canada, was packed. A concert was in progress and the Mindbender, the world’s largest indoor roller coaster, was doing a brisk business.
Twice during that day, a ride operator heard metallic banging noises coming from the coaster, but when the four 16-passenger trains were run empty, maintenance crews couldn’t locate the source of the noise, and the ride was again opened to the public.
Ron Chayko and his best friend David Sager were visiting the park that day and had wanted to go on the Mindbender, but when they first arrived, the ride was shut down, so they visited the nearby arcade till an announcement was made that the Mindbender was back up and running. They sat in the final, yellow car of the train, which then began its looping, climbing and diving ride.
No one knew that some bolts on the left side of the final car had fallen off, and this suddenly caused the final car to derail. The yellow car fishtailed wildly, knocking the lap-bars loose and hurling passengers out and down. The train was still running, heading into an uplift for the next drop, but had lost momentum and slid back down the incline, crashing into support pillars along the way.
Ron Chayko remembers flying over David Sager and falling below the track, behind a pillar. When he tried to sit up he saw that both his legs were broken, he was unable to move his left arm, and he had great difficulty breathing due to a punctured lung. He lay in agony for 15 minutes till a man jumped down to him, calling to other rescuers “I found him!” When paramedics lifted him onto a stretcher, Chayko’s entire left side folded in on itself due to his broken shoulder, pelvis and ribs. He survived, though he suffers from chronic pain as a result.
David Sager, Tony Mandrusiak and Cindy Sims were all killed instantly, and a more than a dozen others were injured. The Mindbender was shut down for seven months while investigations were made. It was determined tthat the axle assembly was faulty, and that the problem was exacerbated by problems translating the ride’s maintenance and repair instructions from German into English and the fact that the
manufacturer went bankrupt during installation of the coaster.
When the Mindbender was reopened in 1987, it had been redesigned to have only three 12-passenger cars, and safety belts and over-the-shoulder padded head restraints were added in addition to the standard lap bars. The ride has been completely accident-free ever since.
Culled from: Wikipedia
Submitted by: Aimee
And here’s a nice little clip about the accident. It’s worth it just to hear Canadians describe the incident: “It was pretty scary cuz we were sitting upside down and we didn’t know what was happening and like we seen people laying on the ground, eh.”
Garretdom: Frightfully Mangled Edition
More proof that newspapers were better before. Check out the detail in that final paragraph! Oh, if only modern papers were so colorful…
July 22, 1865
Fatal Accident. — On last Monday a most shocking accident occurred at Spring Lake, in this county. The victim was a Mr. Ringrose, who was employed in the sawmill at that place, while engaged in adjusting a belt on one of the wheels, was caught and dragged into the machinery and instantly crushed to pieces. — There was no one near at the time, and he was found a few minutes afterwards by another of the employees of the mill, a frightfully mangled corpse. He was a returned soldier, and had been at home but a few days when he was thus torn from family and friends, just as his security from death seemed to have become the most perfect. He leaves a wife and several children to mourn his untimely fate.
Since the above was in type we have learned some of that particulars of the sad affair. — It appears that the belt wheel had no flange and the belt frequently ran off the wheel as it did in this instance, and had to be put on again while in motion; the deceased upon seeing the belt come off, went to put it on, and did so, but just as it snapped on to the wheel it caught his left arm, when he was instantly rolled in between the belt and the wheel, which was going at the rate of sixty revolutions per minute. The owner of the mill, Mr. Turner, was upstairs at the time, and noticed a curious action in the machinery and heard an occasional thud, but attributed it to some trifling cause; in about fifteen minutes after he had first noticed it he determined to go below and see the occasion of the noise, when he found the body in the position described. — He immediately stopped the mill and, with assistance, extricated the body of the unfortunate man. His arms and legs were broken into twenty or thirty pieces, and the flesh literally stripped therefrom, pieces of which were found in every direction; his body was ground to a pumice and blood was thrown thirty feet. One of his feet was found the next day, and pieces of flesh were picked up for several days after in and about the mill.
Culled from Coffee Made Her Insane
More frightfully mangled news stories can be read at Garretdom.