17 Horrifying Injuries, Deaths, And Incidents That Have Occurred At Theme Parks

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Never looking at the Matterhorn the same way again.

Warning: The following contains disturbing and graphic content.

1. In 1973, an 18-year-old and his 10-year-old brother stayed on Tom Sawyer Island at Disneyland past closing time, then tried to leave by swimming across the Rivers of America. The older brother drowned while attempting to carry the younger one, who couldn't swim, to shore. The younger brother survived by doggy-paddling and was eventually rescued.

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2. In 2003, one man died and 10 others were injured on Disneyland's Thunder Mountain Railroad when the ride derailed.

3. In 1984, a woman was decapitated on the Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland after being thrown from her seat toward an incoming bobsled.

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Reports say her seatbelt was not fastened; however, it's unknown if she unbuckled it herself or if it malfunctioned on its own. This was the second death to occur on the Matterhorn — a 15-year-old boy was killed in 1964 after attempting to stand up during the ride.

4. In 1984, eight teenagers were trapped and killed in a fire in the Haunted Castle attraction at Six Flags Great Adventure.

5. In 1976, a man with a heart condition died after riding the new roller coaster The Python at SeaWorld's Busch Gardens. The ride's original tag line, “I challenged the Python and lived!" was removed after the incident.

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The Python permanently closed in 2006.

6. In 2008, a 17-year-old was decapitated by a moving ride after climbing over multiple fences around the Batman roller coaster at Six Flags Over Georgia.

7. In 1986, a scare actor for Universal Studios Hollywood's Fright Nights event fell between two tram cars and was crushed to death.

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After a hiatus, the event was relaunched as Halloween Horror Nights in 1992.

8. In 1979, six children and one adult were killed in the Sydney Ghost Train fire at Luna Park Sydney in New South Wales, Australia.

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9. In 2004, a woman fell 60 feet to her death from a ride called The Hawk at Rockin' Raceway in Tennessee after her harness reportedly came undone mid-way in the air. The park's manager was charged with second-degree murder and subsequently convicted of reckless homicide.

10. In 2007, a 13-year-old girl had both her feet severed by a snapped cable on the Superman: Tower of Power ride at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom.

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Doctors were able to reattach the girl's right foot, but her left leg had to be amputated below her knee.

11. In 2019, a wave machine malfunctioned at Yulong Shuiyun Water Amusement Park in China, causing tsunami-sized waves. 44 people were injured, including five who had to be hospitalized.

12. In 2007, 12 passengers were trapped hanging upside down 150 feet in the air on the X-Coaster, a ride at Magic Springs in Arkansas, for over 30 minutes during a power outage.


No serious injuries occurred.

13. In 1997, a group of 33 high school seniors visiting Waterworld California attempted to break a school record for the highest number of people on a water slide. The slide collapsed, killing one 17-year-old and injuring 32 other students.

14. In 2016, the body of a cast member was discovered in Phantom Manor — an attraction similar to the Haunted Mansion — at Disneyland Paris.

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The cause of his death was believed to be accidental electrocution.

15. In 2010, an employee at Disneyland Paris was killed after being trapped under a boat on It's a Small World. The ride had reportedly switched on while it was being cleaned.

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16. In 1974, 18-year-old Disneyland employee Deborah Gail Stone was crushed to death after falling in between a rotating wall and stationary platform inside the America Sings attraction.

17. And finally, in 1966, a 19-year-old was killed while attempting to sneak into Disneyland by climbing onto the Monorail tracks. He was crushed by an incoming train and his body was reportedly dragged 30-40 feet across the tracks.

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