Tragic deaths at US theme parks of eight teenagers burned in haunted house to child beheading at water park

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Theme parks have witnessed tragic accidents over the years, from eight teenagers killed in a haunted house to a child beheaded on a waterslide.

While some of the notorious incidents date back to the 1960s, a more recent tragedy struck earlier this year at a park in Orlando, Florida.

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Eight teenagers died in the haunted house of Six Flags: Great Adventure in 1984Credit: MYK STREJA / WIKIPEDIA
Republican lawmaker Scott Schwab's son Caleb was killed on the Verruckt waterslide, which was once rated the world's tallest waterslide

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Republican lawmaker Scott Schwab’s son Caleb was killed on the Verruckt waterslide, which was once rated the world’s tallest waterslideCredit: Social Media – see legend

While there are only about 4.5 amusement park driving-related deaths per year according to BMW Legal Groupsome accidents have become infamous.

Disneyland: 1967

It may come as a shock, but several deaths have occurred as a result of Disney’s famous PeopleMover ride.

The first was in 1967 when the ride had only been open for about a month in California amusement park.

A 16-year-old jumped between cars and fell onto the tracks, where he was hit by another train.

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Years later, in 1980, another teenager did the exact same thing and met the same fate.

Action Park: 1980s

A series of accidents New Jersey park in the 1980s made it known as the the most dangerous theme park in the world.

The series of deadly incidents began in 1980, when an employee’s sled derailed while rolling down the Alpine Slide, throwing him off the tracks.

The death of the 19-year-old employee is detailed by the rideaccidents.com site.

“The victim…was thrown from the car onto an embankment. He suffered a fatal head injury when his head hit a rock,” the site said.

The park’s Tarzan Swing catapulted helpless participants into water so cold it could cause shock and triggered a fatal heart attack in 1984.

Another ride, Roaring Rapids, claimed the life of a man after he got out of his kayak and stood on a live wire.

The ride had previously caused a number of bruises, broken bones and other injuries.

Visitors struggled to escape from the eight-foot-deep Tidal Pool, also known as the Grave Pool, and three teenagers drowned.

Capable of accommodating up to 1,000 people at a time and sporting meter-high waves, around 30 people had to be rescued from it daily.

Six Flags Great Adventure: May 11, 1984

Park guests were strolling through the Six Flags Great Adventure haunted castle when a fire broke out in 1984.

The fire at the maze-like attraction initially trapped 29 guests and employees.

The entire structure caught fire when a foam cushion caught fire, burning for over an hour.

The attraction had no smoke detectors or sprinkler system, and didn’t have many exit lights, which compounded the dire situation, Yahoo reported.

The accident at the New Jersey theme park claimed the lives of eight teenagers and injured at least seven others.

The blaze left the charred bodies of the victims so badly burned that they were initially thought to be mannequins when they were found by firefighters searching the wreckage.

The accident remains known as one of the worst theme park disasters.

Isle of Kings: June 9, 1991

Two separate incidents at Kings Island in Ohio kills three on June 9, 1991.

The infamous day made headlines in the local press and became known as “Black Sunday.”

First, a park guest – Timothy Benning – approached a fountain where he intended to splash a friend he was with.

But when he touched the water in the fountain, he was electrocuted.

There was a live wire just below the surface of the water which also electrocuted two people who rushed to help Benning: his friend, William Haithcoat, and park employee Darrell Robertson.

The accident ultimately claimed the lives of Haithcoat and Robertson, while Benning survived with serious injuries.

About an hour after the electrocution incident, Candy Taylor was riding the Flight Commander, a ride that lifts passengers off the ground into spinning gondolas, when she slipped out of her harness.

Taylor fell 70 feet to the ground and died of her injuries.

Schlitterbahn: August 7, 2016

Son of Republican legislator Scott Schwab Caleb died on the Verruckt attraction at the Schlitterbahn water park in Kansas City in August 2016.

The 168-foot-tall Verruckt, which means “crazy” in German, has been certified as the world’s tallest waterslide by Guinness World Records.

Caleb was killed when his raft took off down the 50-foot bump of the slide and collided with a metal bar supporting a safety net overhead.

Two women he was riding with were slightly injured.

Orlando ICON Park: March 24, 2022

Sampson tire, 14 years oldvisited the amusement park to ride Orlando FreeFall – an attraction that lifts passengers over 400 feet in the air before knocking them down.

The FreeFall has been touted as the tallest ride in the world.

But tragedy struck when Sampson slipped from his harness and seat and fell to the ground.

The horror the accident was filmed.

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It was later revealed that Sampson had exceeded the ride’s weight limit and may not have been properly strapped into the harness and seat.

It has since been announced that the ride will be demolished.

Caleb Thomas Schwab was just 10 when he died

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Caleb Thomas Schwab was just 10 when he diedCredit: David Strickland
Tire Sampson, 14, slipped out of his harness and seat during the Orlando Freefall at Icon Park this year

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Tire Sampson, 14, slipped out of his harness and seat during the Orlando Freefall at Icon Park this yearCredit: Splash
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