EMPLOYEE DIES IN AMUSEMENT PARK
A 67-year-old male employee died on July 6, 2012 after being fatally struck on The Vampire, a well-known roller coaster ride at La Ronde, an amusement park in Montreal, Canada. Authorities are keeping his identity confidential.
A question is raised as to why the veteran amusement park worker seemed to disregard protocol. He didn’t follow the basic rule which forbids anyone from entering the locked, restricted security zone while the ride is in operation without notifying the ride operator. The security zone includes the track.
The roller coaster is 100 feet high at its peak and travels at 50 miles per hour. The impact sent the man to the ground below and as soon as medical personnel arrived, he was declared dead at the scene. A witness said that his head and shirt were covered with blood, suggesting that he had suffered head trauma.
David Sasson, a spokesperson for Urgences Santé (Montreal’s emergency medical service), said that another person was taken to the hospital to be treated for shock.
Some people who saw the accident panicked and were chaotically running around. Staff members were upset and many were crying. Michel Parent, who is president of Montreal’s blue collar union, said that mental aid workers were being sent to help employees deal with their distress.
According to Louis-Pierre Ducharme, a spokesperson for the Commission de la sécurité du travail, (the province’s workplace safety board), the deceased was considered a good employee, and there didn’t appear to be an obvious reason for this incident. The investigation may take as much as six months, during which time the roller coaster will remain closed.
The Vampire, which opened in 2002, is an inverted coaster designed by the Swiss firm Bolliger and Mabillard. It has a layout similar to the Batman: The Ride roller coasters found at many Six Flags parks. There are 5 inversions including a pair of loops, 2 corkscrews and a zero-g roll. It’s considered one of La Ronde’s more extreme thrill rides.
La Ronde issued a statement: “One of our esteemed colleagues lost his life after he entered a restricted zone and was struck by the train of a roller coaster…Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”