A space shuttle-simulated ride known as Space Journey turned deadly for six people, while injuring 10 at a popular amusement theme park in Southern China on June 29.
Chinese media reported that the accident occurred on Tuesday afternoon in the Overseas Chinese Town (OCT) East theme park in Shenzhen City, in the southern province of Guangdong.
About 40 people were on the launch simulator ride, which simulates the 2G acceleration effect of gravity from a rocket launch. The ride has 12 cabins that rise and spin, and can hold four passengers each. A witness said one of the cabins became loose, colliding with other cabins, while spinning at high speed. Some cabins dropped 15 meters (50 feet), while ejecting passengers.
Witnesses who were waiting in line for the next ride told Guangzhou Daily that they heard a loud noise, then the power shut off and the ride stopped spinning.
An employee of OCT East told Guangzhou Daily that while the high-pressure chambers were spinning at high speed and at a high attitude, an explosion occurred, sending many of the chambers falling to the ground and colliding with each other, killing and injuring passengers.
One man told Oriental Daily he heard a loud noise when the chambers were ascending to a high altitude. He said after that, he smelled something burning. The chambers then descended to the ground sharply and rapidly. He said, “I thought it was from the special effect of the game.” After a few moments of silence, he heard people begin to shout for help.
Another witness said that many people could not escape in time, due to the high-speed spinning, the simulated effect of gravity, and the narrow space in the chamber.
Mr. Lin, a migrant worker who survived the accident, told Apple Daily that after getting out of his chamber, he witnessed other chambers hitting the ground and colliding with each other. He said it was a terrible scene, with blood and flesh everywhere.
According to Yangcheng Evening News, only one out of the 12 simulation chambers remained intact after the accident.
According to OCT East’s website, the theme park’s Space Journey is the first simulated space ride designed in China to let people experience the 2G acceleration effect of gravity.
The official media Xinhua News reported that one witness named Zhang said the accident was caused by a power shortage experienced just before the accident occurred.
The incident is currently being investigated by the Shenzhen government.
OCT East operates under the OCT Group. Described by China Daily as China's largest theme park developer, OCT Group has been in operation in Shenzhen since May of 2009. It is a state-owned enterprise which is under the supervision of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, according to its website.
Read the original Chinese article