Woman dies in rollercoaster plunge
A woman riding a rollercoaster billed as the tallest steel-hybrid ride in the world has died after falling from the attraction at an amusement park in Texas.
The accident happened just at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington. Park spokeswoman Sharon Parker confirmed that a woman died while riding the Texas Giant rollercoaster but did not specify how she was killed. However, witnesses told local media that the woman fell.
"She goes up like this. Then when it drops to come down, that's when it (the safety bar) released and she just tumbled," said Carmen Brown. Ms Brown said she was waiting in line to get on the ride when the accident happened.
Six Flags expressed sadness over the death and said it was temporarily closing the section of the park around the accident site. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends during this difficult time," the park's statement said.
The Texas Giant reaches 14 storeys high and has a drop of 79 degrees and a bank of 95 degrees. It can carry up to 24 riders.
The ride first opened in 1990 as an all-wooden coaster but underwent a £6.5 million renovation in 2010 to install steel-hybrid rails before reopening in 2011.
Ms Brown said she was next in line behind the woman and saw her being strapped into her seat next to her son. "We heard her screaming. We were like, 'Did she just fall?'," Ms Brown said.
In 1999, a 28-year-old Arkansas woman drowned and 10 other passengers were injured when a raft-like boat on the Roaring Rapids ride at Six Flags overturned in up to 3ft of water about 200ft from the end of the ride.
Six Flags Over Texas opened in 1961 as the first amusement park in the Six Flags system. It is 17 miles west of central Dallas.
Meanwhile, in another amusement park accident on Friday, a boat on an Ohio thrill ride accidentally rolled backwards down a hill and flipped over in water when the ride malfunctioned, injuring all seven people on it. Operators stopped the Shoot the Rapids water ride after the accident, which occurred on the ride's first hill, the Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky said.