Friday, October 28, 2011

New accident at DLP Big Thunder Mountain

It's the second time this year that DLP Big Thunder Mountain have an accident and, although it could have ended in a more dramatic way, nobody seems to be seriously hurt in yesterday's accident. The park statement say that nobody was hurt but other sources are saying that two people were slightly hurt - a 8 year old girl had pain in a knee and one adult said that he had some pain in his back. In addition, one young child left badly shocked in the accident which saw 31 people evacuated and the attraction closed for checks.

So, what happened this time? Apparently two front wagons of the train came off the tracks - the wheels literally derailed - in what is known as "zone 5" - see the orange circle on the picture below. The "zone 5" is this part of the track which is just before the last lift where happened some months ago the first accident which was much more serious. Fortunately the train was going at a relatively slow pace on a flat section of the track as, depending which part of the zone 5 it happened, the train could have fall in the Rivers of the Far-West which, thanks god, didn't happen.

As you probably remember, in the first accident last April a 38-year-old man was seriously hurt when he was hit in the head by a block of wood and glass fibre that fell off the mountain structure. Four other people were also hurt in the incident. Yesterday's accident, fortunately, was not as tragic but of course the attraction was closed immediately, police arrived on site and a new enquiry will begin.

No need to say that the ride will remain closed for the next days and probably weeks - and will NOT be open during the upcoming Halloween Party. This is not good news for Halloween guests as two rides only - Phantom Manor and the river boats will be open in Frontierland, which might be not enough for the thousands of guests who will join the big Halloween party at DLP.

Once again DLP fans began to talk again about the poor maintenance of the park but personally i prefer to wait for the end of the enquiry as this new accident might have happen because of an element of the track, eventually hard to see even for DLP maintenance.

Pictures: copyright Disney or Agence Altitude - Yann Arthus-Bertrand


DGR said...

Odd. I heard that it was the last car and that it happened in zone 8 (at the end of the ride).

Anonymous said...

"The train could have fall in the Rivers of the Far-West which, thanks god, didn't happen."

Ca n'est techniquement pas possible, même en cas de déraillement.

Le train ne peut pas quitter la plate-forme qui supporte la matrice des rails, des systèmes de rappel sont présents pour cette raison. Les détails techniques sont confidentiels.

S'il était possible que le train puisse tomber dans la "rivière", l'attraction ne serait pas conforme aux normes applicables en France. Le parc n'aurait pas reçu l'autorisation d'exploitation des autorités pour cette attraction, et celle-ci ne serait donc pas exploitée.

En l'espèce ce type de commentaire de votre part peut donc relever de la diffamation, je vous laisse juge et responsable de vos écrits.

NB: Je vous réponds en français, je sais que vous parlez cette langue.

Jones said...

Things like this *must* not happen, there is no excuse whatsoever! If sth like this happened at a high speed mega coaster, a lot of people would be killed - and the fact that mega coasters are extremely safe shows me that it is possible to avoid *any* serious incidents. I just don´t care why it happened, it´s not acceptable, period. (It´s also difficult to keep a jet engine in good codition - but it´s possible...)

Alain Littaye said...

Here is my answer to the anonymous comment posted above ( I always love when someone is coward enough to leave a threatening comment "anonymously"...) saying that my line ""the train could have fall in the Rivers of the Far-West which, thanks god, didn't happen." was wrong ( and even eventually defamatory! ).

My line was of course only pure prospective from me but as it seems that some are enough stupid to take it at the first degree, and also as i am not a ride engineering specialist, i thought that the best was to ask a close friend of mine who built Big Thunder Mountain as him will know what he is talking about and surely have the right answer, and here it is:

Hi Alain,

Anonymous comments like that are always annoying, especially when posted by someone whose tone makes them sound like an " expert" in ride engineering without identifying themselves.

"It is my understanding that the wheel assembly unit, manufactured by Vekoma, provides an optimal security attachment to the tubular steel rails of BTM, insuring a safe ride throughout the entire track layout. However, other factors must be considered, like metal stress fatigue and normal "wear and tear" on the wheel units.This requires daily inspections of all parts of the train as well as the tracks. There is no ride security system that can function without rigorous maintenance inspections.

It's not very likely that the entire train would have plunged into the water at zone 5 unless all wheel assembly units failed. Also, the security systems described by "anonymous" are based on Disney ride quality standards and not just French security regulations.

I know that you carefully research your sources before posting on " Disney and More" and many reports may vary right after an incident such as this. So now a full "official investigation" is underway and who knows when all the details will emerge to fully explain the cause for this unfortunate derailment."