If you wanted to go from 0 to 112 miles per hour in less than two seconds (1.56 seconds to be exact), all you had to do was get a ticket to ride the Do-Dodonpa rollercoaster at the Fuji-Q Highland Theme Park in Japan. However, the rollercoaster was suspended earlier this month because four riders were stricken with severe injuries because of the wild ride that first opened in Japan in 2001.
The rollercoaster was shut down by park insiders for a detailed inspection on August 12, 2021, but the Japanese authorities were not alerted to the change until days later, on August 17, at which time the ride was immediately suspended.
Park officials are clueless as to why the ride has suddenly become dangerous. In the two decades between the ride’s opening in 2001 and December 2020, no one had sustained injuries like this. Now, however, the ride has been hurting people because of its super speed.
According to a report in the Japanese newspaper “The Mainichi,” four adults in their thirties to fifties suffered broken bones during their ride of the Do-Dodonpa that required months of recovery.
After the ride was shut down officially, park authorities reported that they decided to suspend the ride because of the injuries that were happening as they wanted to get to the bottom of it. Nevertheless, the park officials asserted that “the causal relationship between injuries and amusement machines has not yet been confirmed.”
This story may strike terror in people who enjoy riding rollercoasters, but, fortunately, it is still very rare to sustain an injury on a theme park ride. According to Safety Science, which serves as an international journal for human and industrial safety technology, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), indicated that as of 2019, the chances of being injured at a “fixed-site ride” in the United States were as low as 1 in 17 million.
Most injuries that do occur on theme park rides, according to the IAAPA, are a result of rider misconduct or risky behavior rather than a problem with the machinery. Nevertheless, accidents can occur, and sometimes injuries, as is the case of the Do-Dodonpa, are mysterious.