A roller coaster in Japan known for its “super death” acceleration to triple-digit speeds was reportedly shut down after riders suffered serious bone fractures.
Multiple news agencies reported four cases of fractures in the back or neck linked to the Do-Dodonpa coaster at Fuji-Q Highland Park. Vice reported at least six cases of fractures in total, including four in the back or neck.
The BBC described the four back and neck cases as “significant injuries,” including a “cervical fracture and a thoracic spine fracture.” Japan’s Mainichi newspaper said the riders needed up to three months to recover from their injuries.
The theme park billed the coaster as having the world’s fastest acceleration, hitting 112 mph in just 1.56 seconds ― or what the company called “super death” acceleration.
Although no cause of injury has been identified yet, one woman said in December that she “might have been leaning forward during the ride,” Mainichi reported.
The theme park is coming under fire for not reporting the incidents to the government quickly enough.
“We should have reported earlier,” Fuji-Q Highland spokesperson Kimie Konishi told The New York Times. “Now, we hope the injured people will recover as soon as possible.”
Do-Dodonpa opened in 2001 and was modified in 2017 to make it even faster. The name is an onomatopoeia referring to the sound of drums. Drum sounds are also used around the ride.
The theme park made global headlines last year when it advised patrons to “please scream inside your heart” instead of out loud to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
When it comes to spine or neck fractures, however, the screams were likely to be much more audible.