German Roller Coaster Maker Sends Rep To Investigate Recent Death At Six Flags

By Stephen Fuchs on Email @StephenWFuchs

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On Friday a tragic accident occurred at the Six Flags Over Texas amusement park and now the German company responsible for the ride’s passenger cars is sending out a representative to investigate what may have gone wrong.

Gerstlauer Amusement Rides has built more than 50 roller coasters and coaster trains around the world in the past 30 years and now wants to be on site where the accident took place to see if they are at fault.  According to witnesses, the woman who fell to her death on the 14-story Texas Giant, which is said to be the tallest steel-hybrid coaster in the world, was concerned about the safety bar not fully engaging before the ride began.  Tobias Lindnar, the project manager who was sent by Gerstlauer, however told The Dallas Morning News that “I’m sure there’s no safety bar that is broken”.

Lindnar was quick to note that this is the first time anyone has ever been seriously injured or killed on one of Gerstlauer’s rides, but would not give out any specifics on how their coaster’s hydraulic safety bars work.  “At this time I don’t want to speak about the technicals… It’s not so easy. It’s some special equipment,” he told the paper over the phone from Germany this past weekend.  What he did mention was that it is not possible for the safety bar to open once the ride begins.

Outside investigators claim that roller coaster manufacturers generally design the safety bars to accommodate people who weigh roughly 180 pounds, and it is up to the amusement park employees to determine whether or not a person fits into the safety guidelines set up by the manufacturer of the ride.

 

Sources: The Dallas Morning News, CBS News
Photos: Edward Beavers [Flickr]

Stephen Fuchs
Stephen founded German Pulse and LGBT Germany out of a passion to introduce Americans to a Germany that goes beyond beer and polka (although with enough beer he has been known to polka it up a bit). He's a coffee addict, lover of wine and good times, a hit in the kitchen and editor of TV commercials. You can follow him on Twitter (@StephenWFuchs) to find out a lot more.
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