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Six Flags Roller Coaster Shut Down After Tragic Accident

A Six Flags ride in Texas has been shut down after a woman tragically fell to her death while riding the Texas Giant Roller Coaster.  The coaster is located in the Arlington, TX Six Flags and is one of the most popular attractions at the park.  Rosy Esparza was riding the Texas Giant with her son on Friday when she fell from the ride at approximately 6:30 pm.  Her T-shaped lap bar was apparently not properly latched and she fell several stories to her death.

Women Questioned Her Safety Before Ride Started

According to witnesses, Esparza questioned whether her lap bar was properly fastened before the ride began.  She expressed concern to a ride attendant that the lap bar was not latched, to which she was told that as long as she heard one click, she was fine.  As the ride took off, Esparza raised her arms as many roller coaster riders do, and when it dropped back down the lap bar released and she fell.  The Texas Giant is 14 stories high.

Manufacturer to Send Experts to Investigate Incident

Gerstlauer Amusement Rides, the company responsible for manufacturing the cars in the Texas Giant planned to send experts yesterday to investigate the mystery of why Esparza fell.  There are no signs of foul play in the incident, but experts speculate that Esparza’s size may have played a role.  Safety experts say that coasters like the Texas Giant are designed for people who weigh 180 pounds.  It is unclear how much Esparza weighed, but the Texas Giant does not provide any weight restrictions in order to be able to ride.  The amusement park industry also maintains that amusement park rides are essentially safe, estimating the chances of being injured at one in 24 million, and the chances of being killed at one in 750 million.  Six Flags refuses to speculate on the causes of the tragedy.

Texas Giant Has History of Injuries

While Six Flags may not have much to say about Esparza’s death, reports gleaned from state records tell a much different story about the safety of the Texas Giant.  Between 2008 and 2013, 14 injuries were recorded on the Texas Giant but it isn’t clear how many of those injuries prompted the Giant to shut down.  The federal government has no oversight of amusement park rides, putting the investigation of incidents that lead to injury or death largely in the hands of the amusement park staff and their affiliates.

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