Malfunction led to coaster collision that injured 28

2023-10-30 10:07:36China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

A roller coaster ride accident that left 28 people injured on Friday at a theme park in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, was caused by a malfunction, the city said in a report on Sunday.

The train on the Snowy Eagle roller coaster was making its way up the track before it slid back and crashed into another that was unloading passengers behind it at Happy Valley Shenzhen, a popular theme park.

According to the report by the safety management committee of Shenzhen's Nanshan district, the collision happened at around 6:27 pm on Friday. Eight injured people were quickly transported to hospital, and 20 more people received medical treatment over the weekend.

As of Sunday, 17 people remained hospitalized, including four who required extra attention in intensive care and 13 in regular wards, but "their conditions are currently stable without any life-threatening risks", the report said, adding that relevant department officials have visited the injured to express their condolences and offer support.

Preliminary investigations found that the train, which had a maximum capacity of 24 passengers, was carrying 22 when it slid back and collided with the other, which was unloading passengers at the time and had nine that were still on board when it was hit.

On Saturday, the University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital confirmed with China Daily that it received multiple injured individuals from the Snowy Eagle accident. Due to the urgent nature of their conditions, the emergency ward prioritized their treatment, resulting in a waiting time of approximately four hours for those seeking medical attention at the hospital.

In response to the incident, Nanshan's safety committee ordered Happy Valley Shenzhen to close from Saturday and organized a joint investigation team formed by relevant city departments.

"The joint investigation team will proceed with investigations and take appropriate actions against the responsible parties in accordance with the law and regulations. They will also initiate a comprehensive response mechanism to conduct safety inspections and rectification of special equipment at all tourist attractions within the district, and strengthen safety precautions in key areas based on lessons learned from this incident," the report said.

The Snowy Eagle, which cost approximately 200 million yuan ($27.33 million) to build, is one of Asia's tallest and longest catapult-style roller coasters, according to the Happy Valley Shenzhen website.

Wei Shuyan, a professor at Northeast University School of Humanities and Law, emphasized the importance of emergency preparedness and praised Shenzhen's effective crisis management.

"The timely release of information demonstrates the government's commitment to being accountable to the public. By promptly sharing information, the government shows its willingness to be transparent and take responsibility for its actions. This fosters trust and confidence in the government's ability to handle crises, make informed decisions and prioritize the well-being of its citizens," she said.


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