Thrill rides in U.S., Canada shut down after girl's feet are severed

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Friday, June 22, 2007

The Superman Tower of Power at Six Flags Over Texas remains open because it is not the same as the Superman Tower of Power ride at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom that has been shut down after a girl's feet were severed.
Image: Hagerman.

The United States amusement park operator Six Flags has shut down nine thrill rides at four parks after a 13-year-old girl's feet were cut off on a tower-drop ride yesterday at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville.

Kentucky state officials said a loose cable on a ride called the Superman Tower of Power severed the girl’s feet above the ankles, but they had not determined how the cable broke free, or at what point in the ride the accident happened. The ride lifts passengers 177 feet (54 metres) straight up, then drops them nearly the same distance at speeds reaching 54 mph (86 km/h).

The girl, whose identity has not been released, was taken to a hospital. Details of her condition were not immediately available.

Six Flags spokeswoman Carolyn McLean told The Courier-Journal that there has never been a major incident on the Tower of Power. Formerly known as the Hellavator, the ride was built in 1995.

In addition to Kentucky Kingdom, rides have been shut down at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois; Six Flags St. Louis in Eureka, Missouri; and Six Flags America, Prince George's County, Maryland.

A Superman Tower of Power Ride at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington has not been shut down because it is not the same as the ones in Kentucky and the other locations that have been shut, Six Flags spokeswoman Wendy Goldberg told the Associated Press.

The rides that have been shut down are made by a Swiss-owned company called Intamin.

Cedar Fair Entertainment Company said it was shutting down similar thrill rides at its theme parks at Kings Island in Mason, Ohio; Canada's Wonderland in Vaughan, Ontario; Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia; Carowinds in Charlotte, North Carolina; and Great America in Santa Clara, California.

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