After a state inspection and investigation of the Opa Roller Coaster at My Olympus Theme Park, the ride has been permanently closed after a man was thrown from the coaster and fell 17 feet to the ground. According to the Baraboo News Republic, a state agency has found several maintenance and training violations and has ordered that the park shut down the coaster. The agency said that the coaster needs to replace old and defective parts. This is all in reaction to the March 6 accident where 63 year old Anthony Theisen was thrown from the coaster and fell to the ground. Theisen was put into an induced coma and put on a respirator.
According to the article, The Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services inspected the ride after the accident and came to the conclusion that the maintencance in the park was not up to standards. The agency ordered the park to begin new training procedures including keeping track of training records for the staff. The park must also change its maintenance practices throughout the park. The Opa Roller Coaster cannot be put back into operation until all of the things highlighted in the investigation have been dealt with and another inspection occurs.
The lawyer for the man injured in the accident stated that Theisen has come out of the coma as of Monday. There is still no way to determine the long term effects of his brain after sustaining this injury . Mount Olympus said in a statement that the findings from the state agency are inconsistent with what their internal investigation was with the lap bar that was the problem in this accident. In the agency’s report it states that mechanical parts on the ride were so worn that it did not allow the lap bar to lock in the proper position during operation. The statement also claims that the weigh limit for the car had been exceeded by over 60lbs. The lead investigator said in a statement, “we conducted and observed a re-enactment of the incident, which included the use and positioning of dummies with weights similar to those of the patrons at the time of the incident. We observed the dummy in the far left seat move forward and the lap bar for the far left seat open while maneuvering around turns on the roller coaster.”
Below is the list of things that the park must do after further investigation:
• Ensure that proper maintenance and inspection procedures are completed as required by the manufacturer.
• Ensure that all safety bulletins issued for the ride have been reviewed and any required changes have been made.
• Replace defective and/or worn components.
• Ensure the ride is not operated with tubs exceeding the 660-pound capacity limit.
• Ensure that employee training is recorded.
In response to the state report, Mount Olympus has decided to completely remove the roller coaster.
The god of the underworld is going to be taking a spin next season at Mount Olympus Water and Theme Park in Wisconsin. The wooden coaster known as Hades is going to be adding a 360 degree roll and a 135 degree over banked turn. The park has decided to change the name along with the layout. The new name for the ride is Hades 360 and when complete, will become a structural marvel.
According to a report released from the park, the ride will transform to become the first all-wooden coaster to have an upside down roll. This is not the first wood coaster to have an upside down element, as the Son of Beast at Kings Island had a loop when it was built. The loop was taken out after the stress and other factors caused it to be weak. Coincidentally, Son of Beast is being torn down as this story is being written. The report goes on to state that along with the new elements will be the addition of a new, state-of-the-art roller coaster train. The manufacturers state that the train is supposed to give the rider a feel as if they were on a steel coaster. These elements will only add to the records already set by the coaster as it holds the record for the longest underground wooden coaster in the world.
Gravity Group, who is designing the coaster trains, said in a statement, “Hades 360 will be the first to deliver an awe-inspiring wooden coaster thrill all while in the vast world of Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park.” The ride will include the roll, the 135 degree overbanked turn, a 90 degree turn in complete underground darkness, and speeds up to 70 mph. “The Hades 360 transformation will exceed far beyond any mortal’s expectations. This innovation is so new in the amusement industry; it has never been done before” a spokesman for Gravity Group stated.
New details and a name have been released for Big Chief's 2005 coaster project. The name given to the coaster isHades, the brother of Zeus in Greek mythology.The coaster is confirmed be a wooden ride created as Gravity Group's first new coaster project after forming from former Custom Coasters Inc. team members in 2002. Custom Coasters previously designed three wooden coasters for Big Chief from 1995 through 1997, including the 90-foot Zeus.Although the ride was initially stated to be the largest coaster in the Midwest U.S., it is likely that it will be the second-largestwooden coaster in the Midwestern region at most.A debut is slated for spring 2005, with in-house construction work starting early this year.