In response to yesterday's accident involving Superman: Tower of Power at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, similar freefall towers have been closed around the continent while the investigation into what caused the malfunction continues.
All freefall towers manufactured by Intamin AG, the company behind the Kentucky ride, have been closed throughout North America's two largest amusement park chains, Cedar Fair and Six Flags. The additional closures affect nine parks in all.
Intamin's signature freefall towers consist of the Giant Dropmodels that send individual cars up vertical tracks surrounding the rides' cylindrical towers, and the more recent Gyro-Dropdesign that uses unitary rings of up to 56 passengers surrounding the towers.
All five Drop Zone Stunt Tower rides at Cedar Fair properties from coast to coast have reportedly been closed pending the investigation, along with freefall towers at the Six Flags properties in Georgia, Illinois, Maryland and Missouri.
The status of the North American towers located outside these chain-owned parks –– including PittFall at Kennywood in Pittsburgh and Tower of Doom at Elitch Gardens in Denver –– is unknown.
The accident Thursday involved the lifting system of a Giant Drop model. That system uses cables running from winches at the top of the tower to catch cars that attach to the passenger vehicles.
According to witnesses, a cable on Superman snapped as one of the cars reached the end of the lifting cycle just before its routine freefall. That cable then apparently swung and wrapped itself around the 13-year-old victim's ankles.
The girl involved has undergone surgery in an attempt to reattach her feet.
The Closure List:-Acrophobia, Six Flags over Georgia- Drop Zone Stunt Tower, Canada's Wonderland-Drop Zone Stunt Tower,Carowinds- Drop Zone Stunt Tower, Knott's Great America-Drop Zone Stunt Tower, Kings Dominion- Drop Zone Stunt Tower, Kings Island- Giant Drop, Six Flags Great America- Superman: Tower of Power, Six Flags St. Louis-Tower of Doom, Six Flags America