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jeffooi
25-03-2003, 05:47 PM
STRAITS TIMES Singapore
Tuesday, March 25, 2003

<font size="+1">Teenage girl's safety harness opens up during fun ride</font>

KUALA LUMPUR - A 14-year-old girl suffered bruises and a blood clot in her left pelvic area when a safety harness of the Tomahawk ride at Sunway Lagoon opened up in mid-air.

Nur Arina Balqis told The Malay Mail that she did not have time to grab anything when the harness opened up during the ride's first ascent.

'It happened so fast. When the car went upside down, I fell and hit my head against the seat,' she said.

She grabbed a metal bar under the seat but her grip slipped when the car spun again, causing her to fall a second time.

She grabbed the bar again and held on for a minute, until the ride came to a halt.

During the ride, she struck her head against the carriage roof twice and injured her nose.

The Tomahawk ride resembles two pendulum arms with passenger carriages at either end.

The arms swing back and forth, building momentum until they swing a full 360 degrees.

Occasionally, the arms are suspended momentarily in the vertical position, leaving riders hanging upside down.

The mishap occurred on March 15 when the Secondary Two student went to the theme park with her parents, siblings and a classmate for an early birthday treat.

The Tomahawk ride was Nur Arina's third ride of the day. Earlier, she had gone on the Buffalo Bill Coaster and the Niagara Falls Flume Ride.

She was seated alone at the front of the carriage as her siblings and friend had taken the other seats.

Her parents first realised something was amiss during the ride when they saw her cap fall off, followed by her slippers.

'At that point, I looked closer and could then see her tumbling helplessly in the carriage,' her mother said.

When the terrified couple approached the attendants, they were told that the ride could could not be stopped immediately and had to be slowed down gradually.

A Sunway Lagoon spokesman said he could not explain how the harness could have opened up on its own.

SOURCE:
http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/asia/story/0,4386,179159,00.html?

jeffooi
25-03-2003, 05:55 PM
The original story on The Malay Mail

THE MALAY MAIL
Monday, March 24, 2003

<font size="+1">Scare on fun ride for girl</font>
Najmuddin Najib

THE teenager wanted her second visit to the Sunway Lagoon theme park to be a memorable one.

Unfortunately, what was to be a pre-birthday treat became a nightmare for 14-year-old Nur Arina Balqis.

The safety harness of the popular Tomahawk ride opened in mid-air, and she found herself clinging onto a metal bar under the seat of a carriage for dear life – for over a minute.

During that time, the girl, affectionately called Balqis by her family, struck her head twice against its roof and injured her nose before the carriage came to a halt.

The mishap occurred on March 15 when the Form Two student of Tunku Kurshiah College, Seremban, went to the theme park with her parents, siblings and a classmate.

“We wanted to give her a birthday treat as her birthday was the following day,” said her father, Abdul Wahab Kormin, a bank employee.

The Tomahawk ride was Balqis’ third ride of the day as she had earlier gone on the Buffalo Bill Coaster and the Niagara Falls Flume Ride.

Wahab and his wife, Yusni Amaruddin, did not go on the ride but watched from the ground about 20 metres away.

The Tomahawk ride resembles two pendulum arms with passenger carriages located at either end.

The arms swing back and forth, building momentum until they eventually swing the full 360 degrees.

Occasionally, the arms are suspended momentarily at the vertical position, leaving riders upside down.

Balqis told The Malay Mail that when the harness opened during the ride’s first ascent, she did not have time to grab anything.

“It happened so fast. When the car went upside down, I fell and hit my head against the seat,” she said.

Balqis said after the fall, she grabbed a metal bar under the seat, but it slipped when the car spun again, causing her to fall a second time.

She finally held onto the bar until the ride came to a halt.

Yusni said Balqis was seated alone at the front cabin as her siblings and friend had already claimed the other seats.

She first noticed something amiss during the course of the ride when she saw Balqis’ cap fall off followed by her slippers.

“At that point, I looked closer and could then see her tumbling helplessly in the carriage,” she said.

Yusni frantically alerted her husband and they ran towards two attendants, simultaneously yelling at them to stop the ride.

When the terrified couple approached the attendants, they were told that the ride could not be shut down immediately, but could only be slowed down gradually.

After an agonising wait, the couple rushed to check on Balqis.

“When the attendants opened the door, we found her curled up on the floor of the cabin, trembling and still clinging to a metal bar at the bottom of the seat,” said Yusni.

She said it took them several minutes to coax Balqis to release her grip on the bar and get her out of the carriage.

“She was in shock and crying non-stop. I couldn’t help myself and cried too when I saw her in that condition,” said Yusni.

Yusni claimed the attendants were more concerned about inspecting the harness than attending to her daughter, and no one asked whether Balqis required any medical attention.

Balqis’ parents sent her for a medical check-up the next day.

An X-ray showed that besides severe bruising, she also suffered a blood clot in her left pelvic area.

Wahab said two days after the incident, he called a Sunway Lagoon officer who asked him to write a detailed letter on the incident.

“He assured me that upon receiving the letter, he would be able to issue a guarantee letter for us to send Balqis to the Sunway Medical Centre where she could undergo a scan.

“I sent the letter last Monday, but received no news for almost a week after the incident. It was only last Thursday that the officer called to check on things,” he said.

He said that Balqis has yet to undergo the scan as he had not received the guarantee letter.

When contacted, a Sunway Lagoon spokesperson said that they had no plausible explanation as to how the harness could have opened on its own.

She said the theme park staff checked the harness for signs of defect but found none.

She said the harness was powered by hydraulics and that the attendants had to make sure that it was secured before the ride could proceed.

“No defect was found. Everything seemed to be in working order,” she said, adding that the management apologised over the incident.


SOURCE:
http://www.mmail.com.my/Monday/National/20030324103857

xweird
25-03-2003, 06:09 PM
Remember the incident of the triple looper a few years back ? Also the Magic carpet ride, there was something on that too right? And now the tomahawk? hmmm.. .something fishy happening in sunway lagoon....

emybaba
26-03-2003, 12:15 AM
Oooh, reading this has made me remember, I was in Sunway Theme park some months back with my godson and was looking at the Tomahawk. As it reached the zenith, someone in the carriage hurled and spatters rained down. Yes... it was quite gross.

What happened next was sheer genius. Someone shouted, "Oi, Nasi Lemak sudah turun!". I never laughed so hard. I know, it's sick, but it really was funny. Sorry if this story gives offence. Apologies all around...:)

empress_julz
26-03-2003, 12:38 AM
i've never been to sunway lagoon. i lived in subang for years, but i've never been there. heard too many horror stories to ever want to go.

Roy883
26-03-2003, 01:21 AM
I have personally experienced the safety bar giving way a few years ago when I was in Sunway Lagoon. I was at the Company Family Day and a few of my coleagues and I went on a roller coaster ride...the one that enters a dark cave.

It was on the first or second turn, when the safety bar across my lap just flipped upwards. I grabbed it and pulled it down and kept keeping it down, focussing on not getting thrown overboard. Believe me, it was very easy to be thrown off as the rollercoaster was going at such breakneck speed, taking sudden corners.

I fear that the Sunway management has not taken safety seriously given the number of accidents that have happened over the years.

I am so sorry for the girl as I can imagine the fright she had to undergo... not to mention the injuries she sustained.

I appeal to the Sunway Lagoon Management to pay closer consideration to the safety of ALL their rides.

emybaba
26-03-2003, 01:40 AM
There are times, when you've just got to sue the pants off the owner. If I were a lawyer seeking to make a name, I'd take this case pro bono.

This is like a ripe red juicy fruit waiting to be plucked. Our legal system may be a bit slow, but it still turns, eventually anyhow.

If we use the track record as a basis, it will certainly pose a serious setback for Sunway, almost a certain cause for easy settlement.

However, I'm no lawyer and so I'll say this - Don't take a ride, if you do, buy lots of insurance, at least you or your loved one gets a kick out of it (no pun intended - .:D )

empress_julz
26-03-2003, 02:30 AM
i'm a big believer of a swift and efficient legal system. i also think that malaysians are unfortunately not exercising their legal rights on a variety of issues, employment problems and unwarranted dismissal as well as consumer law are examples where malaysians are not vocal enough of.

with regards to settlements, i believe strongly in it. if you're hurt or killed because of a mishap that should not have happened in the first place, you and your family should be compensated. there's the medical bills, funeral costs and not to mention the loss of income sustained. this has to be calculated with interest. also not forgetting psychological damage, notably for people who are severely scarred and disfigured.

and about lawyers making a good name, if you're good you'll get it. nothing wrong with that.

and about sunway lagoon being a dangerous place, i'm more upset that the authorities have not clamped down on them by enforcing stricter safety standards and making sure they're followed through. they've already proven incapable - straighten them out or shut them down.

JoeJaffar
26-03-2003, 08:48 AM
after the incident where the lady fell off the roller coaster and died, my wife and i decided to never have a go on any of sunway's rides. somehow, the management doesn't instill confidence to the public that their rides are safe. my office is planning a family day, and one of the proposed venue is sunway lagoon.

i'd say, the family should sue the park management for reckless endangerment.

lady-o-leisure
26-03-2003, 09:12 AM
Hi Empress,
Dont we all wish the judicial system in M'sia was as you pointed out should be? I wonder if i'll live to see the day that happens. Cases should be read or dealt with in a first come first served basis not in other preferencial order or based on publicity. To wait months and years for a case to be heard is ridiculous. I've seen it happen. Having lawyers sit on a case for ages also happens.

I wonder which govt dept will send inspection teams to all amusement parks. Are there really any qualified teams out there? If there are, are they just sitting around warming their rear ends sipping teh tarik? Don't people take pride in their jobs? or do they prefer to take gaji buta? If anyone's seen the employees of Long Island's amusement park, notice how they walk those roller coaster tracks everyday to check for faults. Every little inch is covered. Does Sunway hire reliable qualified technicians/attendants to check the rides/games everyday?

empress_julz
26-03-2003, 10:38 AM
tell me about it lady-o. the entire judiciary and police need a shake up. i do see the PDRM make a bit of an effort, but more needs to be done. much, much, Much more.

i do know that in amusement parks abroad ppl are thoroughly trained before they can work as a technician to operate rides. and there are twice daily inspections from qualified engineers.