Firefighters rescued 21 people nearly eight hours after they became stranded 125 feet up on the disabled Sky Cabin ride at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, the amusement park incident occurred the afternoon of December 30, 2016 when the ride became stuck. There were 20 passengers and one operator aboard the slow-moving ride, which gives riders panoramic views of Orange County. No one was injured although some riders appeared distraught.
The riders, both adults and children, were harnessed to firefighters who lowered them one by one. It took nearly eight hours for the entire rescue operation to be completed. The ride goes up to more than 180 feet. It apparently got stuck at 125 feet. There is no word yet on what caused the incident. Knott’s has shut down the ride until an investigation into the cause is complete. The ride got stuck on June 22, 2008 as well, but that rescue operation was completed in an hour without injuries.
According to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio, more than 92,000 children were injured on rollercoasters and in amusement park-related accidents between 1990 and 2010. That is an average of almost 4,000 injuries each year. Also, a theme park survey from the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions shows that 1,204 people were injured on rides at nearly 400 U.S. amusement parks in 2011. Overall, there were 52 deaths related to amusement park rides between 1990 and 2004, according to data reported by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Injuries and Compensation
Amusement park accidents could result in a range of injuries from cuts and bruises to major injuries or even deaths. Some of the common injuries resulting from ride accidents include broken bones, lacerations, internal organ injuries, head trauma and neck and back injuries. Even when people are not injured, being stuck in a ride several feet off the ground can cause fear and even panic attacks among riders.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an amusement park ride, you may be able to seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, cost of surgery, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Victims in such cases would be well advised to contact an experienced Orange County amusement park accident lawyer who will remain on their side, fight for their rights and help ensure that the negligent parties are held liable.