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2 months ago
July 12, 2019 around 7:30pm, Tantrum, a Gerstlauer EuroFighter Roller Coaster, experienced a malfunction as a car embarked on the 90 degree vertical lift hill. The train came to a halt and despite multiple attempts by park personnel to clear faults and override system warnings from the control system (each attempt advancing the car by one rollback click up the hill) riders had to be evacuated. Riders remained tightly restrained in the ride vehicles upwards of one hour and forty five minutes to two hours. In order to evacuate guests, a vertical lift attached to the ride base was brought up to the edge of the car.

A rear metal mesh panel was swung out from the lift across the back of the car to assist riders in the rear in the event of a mishap on exiting. From there, workers manually released rider restraints one at a time. Each rider then had to roll and/or climb over the individual bucket seats at a 90+ degree angle and maneuver around the lap bar and seat belt restraints while in a single gait belt style harness which was secured to the edge of the ride lift by a sturdy harness brace.

Rescue workers assisted the riders off the Rollercoaster one by one starting with the rear row of 4 going left to right across the cars, and ending with the front row of 4 in a left to right fashion. Once the first four riders were rescued the lift was lowered to let them disembark from the roller coaster before ascending to the top to retrieve the following four in the front car. At the exit of the ride, a worker took the names and numbers of involved guests and guests were given a water bottle and pass to skip the line of one ride of their choice.

The riders were stuck in a 90+ degree position (while the ride itself has a 90 degree lift hill in this section, the seats of the ride vehicles have additional pitching to increase the feeling of being upside down and suspended, resulting in further heightened pressure against the extremities and other section of the body by restraints in this position) for close to 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours, with the last rider having exited the ride close to 9pm.

According to multiple guests, the first riders were not informed that medical attention was available if needed and may not have been seen by the guests as they exited the ride. One to two guests requested medical attention at the park's front guest services department. The riders were subjected to undue attitude and questioning, in addition to being verbally ridiculed by the guest services agents before the service agents offered to call for medical attention.

One guest was sent home from the park in a wheelchair due to blood flow issues in their legs from the restraints on the roller coaster pressing against them for an extended period while at a 90+ degree angle, resulting in cold extremity on one side of the body, pain, and decreased sensation in the extremities also documented and recognized by the attending medical aids.

According to multiple other riders, at least one guest requiring a cane with various disabilities was denied assistance by a loved one from the exit of the ride, as security had emptied the section of the park and refused to allow the loved one or to bring the assistive device from the rider's loved one to the ride exit to assist them. This resulted in additional emotional and physical suffering of the rider as they were then required to walk a fair distance without any aid until they reached the security guard who refused to offer assistance.

In addition, the checks completed by ride operators include ensuring restraints are as tight fitting as possible by pressing down firmly and forcefully on the restraints often advancing the position of the restraint further. Restraints of course, do not loosen unless released by operators at the completion of the ride. However, because the ride was not able to complete its circuit, this resulted in further adverse events and possibility of unknown future adverse events due to hidden damage below the skin surface following the incident.

It was noted by multiple guests that the park seemed to be "concerned more about their status as a six flags park again and preventing recording or viewing by guests to avoid potential bad publicity than it did for the guests on and exiting the ride once rescued and removed." According to multiple guests this was not the first time this ride had stopped unexpectedly within the last 24 to 48 hours and has been a consistent problem with the ride since opening.

It should further be considered extremely important, dangerous, negligent, and reckless of maintenance workers to continue to advance the train despite ride safety system faults preventing the ride from advancing further. These attempts to further advance the coaster are in direct conflict to the manufacturer safety mechanisms put in place following incidents at a fellow Gerstlauer roller coaster, The Smiler at Alton Towers, England.

These systems were put into place following catastrophic occurrences in which limbs were lost and human life was endangered when maintenance operators overrode the ride's block system sending a car of guests careening into a stalled car further down the line. These overrides were specifically addressed by subsequent maintenance work and system upgrades by Gerstlauer, not just on The Smiler, but for all of their roller coaster models. Attempts to override this system are unconscionable.

Update as of July 1, 2021:
Following FOIA requests that were backed up due to COVID-19, I have been informed by the Attorney General's office that the park failed to report this incident to the inspecting body of NYS. There are no records when there certainly should be.

This is highly important as the very system that was attempted to be overridden was put into place to prevent catastrophic accidents from ocurring for a multitude of reasons. At The Smiler before this system had a safe guard added, mechanics were able to override the fault which lead to a major accident that resulted in the physical crushing, and resulting need of removal of limbs from guests
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