What could be more fun and frivolous than an outing to an amusement park? When all goes well, we experience a few seconds of thrills, chills and adrenaline surges that are well worth the ticket price. Tragically for some, however, a day at the park wasn’t so amusing. There have been plenty of macabre deaths and serious injuries in these pleasure grounds due to ride malfunctions, human errors, acts of arson and stupid patrons. One loose screw can make the difference between life and death. To be fair, more people enjoy these midway thrills unscathed than not. However, when a mishap occurs, the results can be devastating and squeals of joy can quickly turn into screams of terror. Here are 10 theme park disasters that have occurred around the world that just might turn you off rides forever.
1. No Smiles at Alton Towers
Most recently, the Alton Towers theme park in Staffordshire, UK experienced a horrendous crash on their prized roller coaster, The Smiler. This twisty ride zoomed along at 53mph with a record 14 inversions and was one of the main attractions in the park. However, on June 2, 2015, sixteen people were injured when the white-knuckle train collided with an empty carriage, resulting in significant leg injuries, a collapsed lung and a leg amputation. Adding to the horror, the victims were left dangling upside down 25ft in the air for four hours before rescue workers could extract them. Shockingly, this wasn’t the first incident on The Smiler. Just two months after it opened, a bolt fell out and left a gap in the track, and 48 patrons had to be rescued. Four months later, some wheels fell off and hit passengers. In fact, seven incidents have occurred since the ride opened two years ago, which is a pretty appalling track record for such a high-profile park.