Guest Flung From Roller Coaster Due to Their “High Body Weight”

in Theme Parks

Guests ride The Hot One at Klotti Park

Credit: Klotti Park

After an investigation into a fatal roller coaster accident in 2022, one expert has said that “heavyweight” Guests are more at risk of similar tragedies.

In the grand scheme of things, roller coaster accidents are extremely rare. Over 300 million people ride roller coasters every year at theme parks in the United States alone. Your odds of being injured during an attraction are approximately one in 15.5 million – making hopping on a coaster one of the safer activities you could do on your day off.

Jetline roller coaster at Grona Lund with an orange sky behind it
Credit: Grona Lund

Related: Roller Coaster Safety Questioned After Six Similar Deaths

But that doesn’t mean accidents don’t happen. As we frequently report on Inside the Magic, rare incidents can and do occur at theme parks across the globe. The most recent include a roller coaster train derailment on Jetline at Sweden’s Gröna Lund, where one Guest was tragically killed, and nine were injured.

Last year also saw another fatal incident at a theme park in Europe. In August 2022, a 57-year-old woman was killed after falling 26 feet from a roller coaster at Klotti Wildlife Leisure Park in Klotten, Germany. The Guest was said to have slid out of her seat as her train whipped around a corner before falling from the track onto the ground.

Guests ride The Hot One at Klotti Park
Credit: Klotti Park

The roller coaster in question was The Hot Ride, which has a maximum velocity of 37.3 miles per hour and is 550 meters long. Shortly after the incident occurred, police were said to be investigating whether the death “was the result of the fault of a third party,” according to the Bild.

Investigations are still ongoing nearly a year later. A major focus of the investigation into the roller coaster accident is a recently released expert report that suggests that it was the Guest’s “high body weight” that led to the tragic incident.

A spokesperson for the Koblenz public prosecutor’s office stated that the expert’s conclusion was that “at the specific site of the incident, people with a high body weight could be lifted out of their seats due to the strong acceleration forces, especially in the form of cornering-related centrifugal forces.”

Guests ride The Hot One at Klotti Park
Credit: Klotti Park

Related: Guest Kicked From Roller Coaster Due to Her Size, Calls Out Theme Park

The expert also found that “persons with a comparable physique can be thrown out of the car, regardless of whether the safety bar was only loosely applied or tightened with maximum force.”

The Hot Ride reopened to Guests in April. Operators were aware of the report before its reopening and adjusted its restraint system accordingly, introducing an electronic alternative that will only allow the ride to start moving once every restraint is firmly locked in place – making the experience safe for everyone.

There’s previously been hot discussion about theme park accessibility for plus-size Guests, with both Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Hollywood called out for restrictive restraints on TRON Lightcycle / Run and Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge. The question is whether theme parks are doing enough to make plus-size Guests feel welcome – and, in the case of Klotti Park, keep them safe.

Have you ever felt unsafe on a roller coaster? Let us know in the comments!

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