Spooky ride: Japanese amusement park attraction spins with passenger door open
A ride at Fuji-Q Highland amusement park was spinning with the door of a cabin carrying a mother and preschool son left open on August 31 – the latest incident at the central Japan facility in a series problems since last year.
The park operator in Fujiyoshida City, Yamanashi Prefecture announced the incident at the “Shuppatsu! Harold’s Sky Patrol” attraction on the same day and apologized.
Last year at the amusement park, six people suffered serious injuries, including broken bones in crashes on the “Do-Dodonpa” roller coaster, while in another incident a 50-meter Ferris wheel meters high shot with the doors of a passenger cabin left open. .
On the attraction “Shuppatsu! Harold’s Sky Patrol” cabins resembling helicopters rise to a height of 7 meters above the ground and rotate. The ride got up around 11:10 a.m. on August 31 and spun for about 50 seconds while the cabin door carrying the woman and her son remained open.
A family member watching them from the ground reported on the open door. An attendant pressed the stop button and lowered the ride, which carried 11 other people in four groups. None of them, including the mother and son, were injured.
According to the park operator, he makes sure seatbelts are fastened and doors are closed when passengers are on the ride, but the attendant forgot to confirm security partly because a guest canceled just before the start of the trip. The attendant did not spot the open door as he had to check the equipment in the control room to ensure there were no abnormalities during operation after all passengers had boarded. There was no alarm or system to notify the attendant that the door was open.
A representative for the park operator apologized, saying, “We are sorry for the inconvenience and concern we have caused customers over the past year.” The operator has decided to suspend operation of the ride until a safety inspection and review of the operator’s manual is completed.
(Japanese original by Kaoru Watanabe, Tokyo Regional News Department)