An 18 year old male passenger was killed and seven people were injured when the 17 year old Fire Ball ride at the Ohio State Fair shed one of its carriages, on the opening day (July 26) hurling people to the ground. The “aggressive thrill” experience features carriages that swing backwards and forwards like a pendulum, carrying thrill-seekers up to 40 feet in the air and rotating at 13 revolutions per minute.
The day before (July 25) the 20 year old Oblivion roller coaster at Alton Towers, which features a long vertical drop and speeds of up to 68 miles per hour, stopped in mid-ride after a sensor detected “a minor technical fault”, stranding 16 thrill-seekers , some as young as 12, 180 feet in the air. In June 2015, on Alton Towers Smiler roller coaster a crashed car injured 14 people, including two young women who lost a leg each.
Meanwhile organisers who like to thrill their delegates without risking killing or injuring them might like to note the new virtual reality (VR) attraction at London’s Shard building. The Slide operates from the 72nd floor and gives thrill-seekers the impression, via VR goggles, sitting on a platform that moves underneath them and having air blown at them, of a 2-minute helter-skelter hurtle around the Shard in open air tubes at 100 mph, all in perfect safety.