Man Dies in Rollercoaster Accident at Amusement Park
The man was riding the Spinning Coaster Maihime (Dancing Princess), a small rollercoaster that runs single four-seat cars that spin like Disney's Mad Tea Party ride as the cars travel along a track.
Police tell the Japan Times the victim, who was pronounced dead at a hospital two hours after the rollercoaster accident, is believed to have fallen from a height of 23 to 26 feet.
"I heard a big heavy bang and went (closer to the ride)," a 39-year-old onlooker tells the news outlet. "Then I saw that a man who had fallen was being given CPR."
"My children saw it together with me. We don't want to take any more rides," he continues.
Police are investigating whether the accident is a result of professional negligence or if the man failed to follow safety instructions. The ride launches whether or not the safety bar is locked, meaning the car could have started moving before the man was fully secured.
"The vehicle moves while spinning irregularly. I didn't think you could fall off as long as you hung on to the safety bar on your waist, but the accident is scary," says Yutaro Yamaguchi, 20, a park visitor who was on the ride earlier that morning.
The accident is the third to hit the park in recent months. A 26-year-old female worker lost three fingers while performing maintenance checks in November, and in December a girl on the ground suffered minor injuries when parts fell from another roller coaster.
Adjacent to the 55,000-seat Tokyo Dome stadium, the amusement park is one of the most popular in Tokyo.
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Photo, ElCapitanBSC, flickr