In a horrible accident, a 16-year-old girl’s legs were severed above the ankle while on the Superman Tower of Power ride at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom.
The Accident: A Cord Snapped
Unlike traditional roller coasters, the Superman Tower of Power is a “free fall” type ride. According to the park’s web site, the ride lifts passengers 177 feet (54 meters) straight up, then drops them 154 feet (47 meters), reaching a speed of 54 mph (87 kph). The ride was formally called Hellevator before being renamed “Superman Tower of Power.”
A Swiss company called Intamin made the ride 14 years ago. Intamin has installed a total of 70 rides around the globe since 1979. According to Intamin, a steel cord snapped loose just as the ride reached its highest point. Eyewitnesses said the cord snapped again and moved in front of the ride as it descended. The girl’s legs were in the path of the cord as the ride descended causing them to be severed. It’s still unknown why the cord broke loose in the first place.
Ride Malfunctions Before Accident
Here’s a video of the Superman ride from a month before the June 21, 2007 accident. You can see the ride had issues. One car is out of commission. Six Flags knew that the Superman Tower of Power ride was having issues. Why didn’t they shut it down?
How Could This Happen?
The Superman Tower of Power ride has been shut down indefinitely while park officials investigate what caused the accident. Honestly, Six Flags officials should just retire the ride. No one will want to ride it. And no one will ever call the ride by its real name again. Instead it will be jokingly nicknamed something like “Superman Tower of Terror” or “Superman Ride of Bloody Severed Legs”.
The girl who lost her legs in this accident is reported to be in stable condition. Her friends describe her as “pretty” and “popular.” In the short term, she probably has a series of surgeries and rehab sessions ahead of her. And sadly a lifetime of difficulties from not having feet. I hope she gets a giant multi-million dollar settlement from Six Flags. Poor kid. We feel terrible for her and her family.