Before park opening on July first, an employee was struck by a Dueling Dragons train, later hospitalizing him.
At this time, details on the employee’s condition, or name have not yet been released to the media. However, the employee has been hospitalized. Dueling Dragons did not open at it’s regular time, but did open later in the day. At this time, the park is not releasing further information on the incident as they feel it’s too early to share such details.
Spokesman for Island of Adventure’s stated that the ride is indeed safe and was in no relation to the safety of the ride experience.
Now, for my opinion.
It seems that each year, there is at least one person injured, or even worse, killed, because they are struck by a ride vehicle as it is in motion. Safety should be a top priority at theme parks! Employees and park guests should not have access to moving ride vehicles for this exact reason. I’ve seen ride operators walking up and down platforms next to moving trains. I’m sorry, but that doesn’t seem very safe! Sure, there is a line painted on the platform, but I’m sure someone is daring enough to risk their own life. Of course, each theme park chain has their own safety rules, but I believe all theme parks should have the same safety regulations that are consistent across the board.
As for park guests, I must say that some people (not all) don’t bring their brain with them because they could get lost on a roller coaster, or something. Last year is a perfect example. A teen and his friend scaled a fence into a restricted access area to retrieve his hat from underneath of the Batman coaster. The teen was struck by a rider’s leg and was killed instantly, however his friend managed to make it out alive. Something as big, and heavy as a coaster train (which I believe can weigh anywhere from 1 ton to 10 tons) is something I would want to avoid.
Fences should be taller and marked with danger signs with barbed wire at the top. This would definitely keep people out of areas where trains come close enough to the ground to strike a human being. As for employees, they should be behind gates and visible by the employee running the ride. In this case, the employee running the ride could stop the ride if another gets too close to a moving train.