Japanese roller coaster closes after thrill seekers crash

Looping with views of Mount Fuji, the Do-Dodonpa roller coaster in Japan has been one of the most popular features of Fuji-Q Highland Pa...

Looping with views of Mount Fuji, the Do-Dodonpa roller coaster in Japan has been one of the most popular features of Fuji-Q Highland Park since the ride opened in 2001.

One of the fastest roller coasters in the world, the Do-Dodonpa can go from standstill to 112 miles per hour in 1.56 seconds.

But local government officials in Yamanashi Prefecture said last week that the roller coaster would be closed for safety inspections after four passengers reported neck and spine fractures.

Yamanashi Governor Kotaro Nagasaki criticized operators of the park, located about 75 miles southwest of Tokyo, for failing to add safety precautions or alert the government earlier.

“I think if they had reported them earlier and taken the appropriate action, some accidents could have been avoided,” Nagasaki said at a press conference on Friday.

Two women and two men in their 30s and 50s suffered neck or spine fractures between December and this month, according to data from Yamanashi Prefecture.

Kimie Konishi, spokesperson for Fuji-Q Highland, said the park inspected the tracks and equipment and examined the speed of the roller coaster after passengers reported their injuries, but found no issues. Park officials reported every accident to police, she said, but did not report any reports directly to the government until the fourth accident on August 2.

“We should have reported earlier,” she said in a telephone interview. “Now we hope the injured will recover as quickly as possible.”

Ms Konishi added that all passengers were instructed to maintain contact with the headrests and backs, but some of the injured passengers told park workers they may have leaned forward during the path.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Japanese roller coaster closes after thrill seekers crash
Japanese roller coaster closes after thrill seekers crash
Newsrust - US Top News
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