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Hawaii thrill seekers should know of coaster accident on mainland

Anyone who has ever been to an amusement park has probably wondered how these venues keep patrons safe. Honolulu residents who frequent amusement parks might be interested to learn of an accident that happened on a roller coaster on the mainland.

The accident happened on the Ninja at Six Flags Magic Mountain. The cars of this coaster hang from an overhead rail. Advertisements for the ride describe how the cars slice through trees as the coaster moves swiftly along the track.

As riders were going through the trees, a tree fell onto the tracks of the roller coaster. The first car was knocked off the track and was left dangling 20 to 30 feet above the ground. It took almost 3 hours for the 22 riders to be rescued. Thankfully, none of the riders fell in the accident. A fall would have been the equivalent of a balcony fall of two or three stories.

Four riders were injured in the accident. Of those, two had to be taken to the hospital. The injuries of all were said to be minor. One of the injured people was a man who was struck in the head with a branch from the tree, which left a gash on his forehead.

The ride remains closed as officials investigate the accident. Officials will have to sign off on opening the ride before riders can enjoy it again.

Anyone who goes to an amusement venue has a reasonable expectation to remain safe. When serious injuries occur, venue owners and managers may have failed to keep patrons safe, or the manufacturer of the coaster could share blame. People who are injured in accidents potentially caused by dangerous property conditions have the right to seek compensation for those injuries. Understanding the process can help to make seeking compensation a little easier.

Source: Hawaii News Now, "Tree toppled onto coaster; left riders dangling," July 8, 2014

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