One minor mechanical error can lead to one of the worst roller coaster accidents in history. Due to the machinery and mechanical accurateness that is needed to run a roller coaster, most of the time you are safe as the G-force keeps you pinned in place. However, just like in your favorite horror movie, everything that seems safe may quickly turn into a horror story.

Top 10 Worst Roller Coaster Accidents


Darien Lake Amusement Park

Location: Buffalo, New York

Ride: Ride of Steel

Date: 2011

What happened: Known as one of the worst roller coaster accidents in recent history, this tragic incident is devastating. An Iraq war vet who had lost both of his legs during the war wanted to enjoy the day at the amusement park. He had asked the staff which of the rides were safest for him to ride. They had decided the Ride of Steel would be safe, however it turned out to be his last. He slid to his terrifying death when he slipped through the harness when one of the trains went racing over a small incline.


Overseas China Town East Theme Park

Location: Southern China

Ride: Space Journey

Date: June 29, 2010

What happened: Designed to simulate the launch of a rocket, Space Journey killed six people and injured dozens more. The ride had about 40 passengers aboard when one of the cabins came loose and collided with the others causing them to fall 50 feet to the ground.


Six Flags Over Georgia

Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Ride: Batman

Date: June 2008

What happened: A 17 year old boy was decapitated by the ride while trying to recover his lost hat. He had lost his hat during the ride and wanted it back; despite all the warnings, he climbed the fence to retrieve the hat and was decapitated by the 80 km per hour ride. Six years prior, a similar event happened during which a groundskeeper died when he was hit by the leg of a passenger while the roller coaster was rolling.



Location: Osaka, Japan

Ride: Fujin Raijin II

Date: 2007

What happened: One of Japan’s worst roller coaster accidents happened when the coaster derailed. This accident claimed the life of one college student and injured 19 others when the cars went flying off the tracks. After an investigation, it was discovered that it had bad axles and had not been replaced in 15 years. When the park reopened, even more poor quality axles were found on their coasters.


Loudoun Castle Amusement Park

Location: Scotland

Ride: The Rat

Date: 2007

What happened: Some amusement park accidents take the lives of the employees, as The Rat did in 2007. A new operator for the ride was left on his own for the first time. As per usual, it was his duty to help cars along that may get stuck. He attempted this simple job, but his hand got stuck. It finally let loose at the top of the rise, dropping him to his death.


Six Flags Kentucky

Location: Kentucky, USA

Ride: Superman Tower of Power

Date: June 2007

What happened: As the ride ascended, cables were snapping and slapping a group of teenage girls in the face and torso. The yelled for them to stop the ride, but it was all the way up and began to drop. The cables snapping injured many of the passengers and one of the girls lost both of her feet.


Oakwood Theme Park

Location: Pembrokeshire, Wales

Ride: Hydro/Drenched

Date: April 2004

What happened: A 16 year old girl was enjoying a day at the Oakwood Theme Park with her family. She was hurtled 30 meters to the ground from her car which caused severe internal injuries, eventually leading to her death. After she died, the park closed for a full year and when they reopened they had renamed the water ride, Drenched.


Gulliver’s World Theme Park

Location: Warrington, England

Ride: Ferris Wheel

Date: July 2002

What happened: Another one of the worst roller coaster accidents took the life of a 15 year old girl with Down's syndrome when she had gotten out of her seat and dropped 6 meters causing a deadly head trauma. During an investigation, it was found that she had wanted to ride with her mom, but the park employees refused, saying that her mom was too big and needed her own seat. Since her mom nor her were fluent in English, they were unable to protest. Although it was found that the bar was still locked in place, the park suffered health and safety fines.


Lagoon Amusement Park

Location: Utah

Ride: Puff the Little Fire Dragon

Date: 1989

What happened: A 6 year old boy lost his life on what is one of the slowest and safest of rides at the park. However, in this case, he had slipped out of the safety restraints and fell the four feet to the ground. He was uninjured. Then he decided to climb back on, unfortunately that same car had looped around and instantly killed him when it hit him in the head.


Battersea Fun Fair

Location: Britain

Ride: The Big Dipper

Date: 1972

What happened: One of the most tragic amusement park accidents claimed the lives of five children. This was the beginning of the end of the Fun Fair. One of the cars rolled back into the station when it broke loose from the coaster, taking the lives of five children and injuring several more.


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