Friday, September 21, 2012
amusement parks and safety - hanging at 300 feet on a ride
Every train to Egmore and Central empties thousands of visitors to Chennai – many from villages, coming to the metropolis for sight-seeing. Chennai actually has little to offer for tourists, that too, for those who cannot spend much ! Crowds throng Marina beach, to enjoy the sea breeze, have their feet wet by waves of Bay of Bengal, see Anna and MGR samadhies and the like…. The Exhibition organized at Theevu Thidal [island grounds] also attracts people in huge numbers. Besides the various stalls, there are some giant wheels providing amusement – the other day, my friend quipped that these are rickety ones and safety is totally lacking ! – the popular perception is that ‘where they charge you more, equipments are well-maintained’ !
crowd at island ground and some giant wheels in background
Once upon a time, there was only the VGP – then came along Kishkinta and MGM – some more like EVP,
got added. To those not so familiar with Chennai these
are some of the theme parks or do we call them Amusement parks ! - primarily places promoting to provide
entertainment with play equipments of kinds catering to certain age groups, as well as some that are
aimed towards all ages. Amusement parks evolved from European fairs and
pleasure gardens, which were created for people's recreation. The oldest
amusement park in the world is Bakken, north of Queensland ,
which opened in 1583. They debuted in
this part of the World centuries later. Copenhagen, Denmark
I had been to couple of them – and the first thought that strikes one, is do people really enjoy the rides or get overawed with fear in some of them – are they really pleasant – sometimes you get a feeling that when people get down, they clearly hide their fear and come out as if they enjoyed – many shriek and shrill aloud whilst inside the ride as fear grips them.
Many of them are in the category of what we colloquially call ‘giant wheel’ – actually Ferris wheels – a structure consisting of a rotating upright wheel with passenger cars (sometimes referred to as gondolas or capsules) attached to the rim in such a way that as the wheel turns, the cars are kept upright, usually by gravity. Some of the largest and most modern Ferris wheels have cars mounted on the outside of the rim, and electric motors to independently rotate each car to keep it upright. The tallest of them is the 165-metre (541 ft) Singapore Flyer, which opened to the public in March 2008.
It could well be a stray incident – in Apr 2012, a 25-year-old entrepreneur suffered multiple fractures when she fell off a joyride at an amusement park in Chembarambakkam. The incident occurred at EVP World, a newly-opened amusement park on the Chennai-Bangalore highway, which she was visiting with family and friends. At 12.30, she was thrown off the 'cup 'n' saucer' ride and slammed against the base of the structure, fracturing her hip and collar bone. A case was lodged with the police. Family of the victim and amusement park officials offered contradictory versions on what caused the fall. While the family claimed that a safety chain securing the door of their box broke during the ride, officials at the theme park said the woman opened the door herself out of fear before the ride stopped. The lack of emergency help and assistance of medical professionals is generally felt in all these places.
Immediately, there would be comparisons that in Foreign countries, safety is always considered very high. Daily Mail reports of another incident, again this also could be freak and a stray one. It is reported that visitors had to spend hours suspended at 300 feet as ride stopped suddenly and that was not the first time. The report states that 20 riders expecting a short thrill were left dangling at 300 feet for nearly four hours when the Windseeker ride at Southern California's Knott's Berry Farm amusement park stalled. Knott's said in a statement that the ride, which lifts fun-seekers high over the park with their legs dangling and spins them in a circle, came to a stop when its security system activated at about 4pm Wednesday. It was the second time in two weeks that the ride stopped suddenly, and the it will remain closed while the cause is investigated.
A witty tourist from
was quoted as saying that 'They
didn't tell me that in the brochure,' - putting the bad feelings behind, that
person Garrison was sure to get a souvenir T-shirt that read 'I SURVIVED
WINDSEEKER' before he left. There
reportedly were announcements on PA system asking them to be patient and
TV cameras showed riders sitting calmly
as they dangled and the sun set, some casually swinging their legs. Baltimore
With regards –
Photos & News of windseeker – courtesy : www.dailymail.co.uk