They damaged their backs and necks while riding a roller coaster in Japan that goes at “super death” speeds.
After many customers reported fractured bones during the ride, the world’s fastest-accelerating roller coaster has been suspended until further notice.
According to the park’s operator, at least six riders have suffered bone fractures after riding “Do-Dodonpa,” a roller coaster that travels at “super death” speeds in the country’s famed Fuji-Q Highland Park, since December. A spokeswoman for the park informed VICE World News that four of them had broken their necks or backs.
Officials are baffled by the instances, which were reported to authorities on Aug. 17.
Built in 2001, the ride accelerates from 0 to 180 kilometres per hour (or 112 miles per hour) in 1.56 seconds, making it the world’s fastest roller coaster. However, the park stated that this was the first time riders had broken bones on the ride since it first opened two decades ago.
The attraction was even renovated in 2017 to increase the top speed from 172 to 180 kilometres per hour, but the park stated no significant injuries, including bone fractures, were reported until December.
According to Fuji-Q Highland, no technical faults were discovered during the initial assessment. Sansei Technologies, the ride’s manufacturer, apologised to the injured riders but claimed it didn’t know what caused the accident.
Roller coaster rides that cause serious injuries are uncommon. The country’s most recent roller coaster-related death occurred in 2007, when an axle on a car broke during a ride at Expoland in Osaka, sending the roller coaster crashing into a guardrail.
Accidents resulting in shattered bones are unheard of, according to Naoya Miyasato, an architecture professor at Nihon University who analyses roller coaster designs. “Because all roller coaster designs must adhere to government-approved regulations, several identical accidents are unusual,” he told VICE World News.