Jump to content

Information about the Son of Beast Incident


Recommended Posts

From the desk of Maureen Kaiser:

Son of Beast FAQ

7/11/2006

There seems to be a great deal of speculation in the online communities as well as in the media about where, when and how Sunday’s incident took place. Please take a look at the following questions and answers, and feel free to contact me directly (maureen.kaiser@paramountparks.com) with any additional questions or concerns. As more information is released or known, I will be sure to share it with you. Please know that I would never share anything with you or the news media that wasn’t the 100% truth as I know it.

Thanks!!!!

Q: What happened? When? What were early reports?

A: On Sunday, July 9, at 4:45 p.m., a Son of Beast train rolled into the station after completing a full cycle. Some guests complained of discomfort. The Kings Island safety team, as well as Mason Fire and Safety immediately responded. 27 guests were transported to area hospitals. 25 were treated and released that evening. 2 were admitted to the hospital.

Q: Other reports say there were more guests at the hospital. What’s the deal?

A: We transported 27 guests from PKI. I don’t know about the number of guests who may have walked in on their own.

Q: Who is inspecting the ride?

A: On Monday, the Ohio Department of Agriculture and OSHA ride inspectors, as well as industry experts, arrived at the park to begin their inspection process.

Q: How is PKI assisting with the inspection?

A: We are cooperating fully with the Department of Agriculture. In addition, engineers and safety managers from Cedar Fair and PKI, as well as PKI ride maintenance technicians are assisting with the inspection.

Q: What have you learned from the inspection?

A: Preliminary evidence indicates there is a cracked vertical wooden post. Preliminary reports also indicate that this would not have been found by our pre-opening inspections and likely happened just before or right as the incident occurred.

Q: How long will the inspection take?

A: It could take weeks.

Q: When will the ride reopen?

A: The ride will remain closed until we are completely satisfied that the ride is safe.

Q: Where is the cracked wooden post?

A: In the rosebowl.

Q: Is the loop separating?

A: No.

Q: Is the loop dangerous?

A: No.

Q: Why is a train stopped on the tracks?

A: Two trains can’t be in the station at the same time. Therefore, to get the guests out of one train, another must leave the station.

Q: Were guests in the stopped train? Did they have to walk down the hill?

A: No. The train was empty.

Q: Why is it still there?

A: The inspection is in its early stages and we don’t want to jeopardize it by sending a train through a complete cycle.

Q: Why were empty cars sent out of the station before this incident occurred?

A: We had a biohazard incident earlier, and our park protocol for this insists that checks must be conducted before we can load guests again.

Q: How many board feet of lumber will the Department of Agriculture inspect?

A: 2.5 million board feet of lumber will be inspected.

Q: What is the daily maintenance done on Son of Beast?

A:

1) Mechanical (PKI Maintenance)

2) Electrical (PKI Maintenance)

3) Operational (PKI Rides Operations)

Park maintenance technicians walk every inch of wooden track to complete the daily inspection.

During daily inspections, workers look for anything unusual including loose fasteners, deteriorating wood, misalignment of steel and wood connections. They will also test all safety systems and thoroughly review the trains to insure they are operating correctly.

All inspection processes are based on master check lists, developed specifically for Son of Beast.

A boom lift is used by the park for the sole purpose of inspecting the loop on Son of Beast every day.

Q: Didn’t PKI file suit against the manufacturer of Son of Beast?

A: Yes

Q: Wasn’t a part of the suit regarding sub grade wood?

A: Yes. However, all lumber determined to be sub grade was replaced or reinforced before the ride opened in 2000.

Q: Was any of the wood mentioned above in the area we’re focused on now?

A: No.

Q: Did PKI get a hefty sum of money when the lawsuit was finished? Some $20 million? Why wasn’t this reinvested in the ride?

A: We have received a judgment on this case, and we are in the process of recovering a portion of the money promised. At this time, we have received no money as a result of this lawsuit.

Q: How many guests does each train hold?

A: Thirty guests. Five cars to a train.

Q: How many guests have ridden this attraction since it opened?

A: We have provided nearly 6 million safe rides since the ride opened in 2000.

Q: Why didn’t the ride open with the park on Sunday?

A: As mentioned above, wood coasters require extensive inspection before they can open. If irregularities are found, we tend to them immediately. This can take time. There was work down in a different area of the ride than the area in question.

Q: Does maintenance happen daily?

A: Yes. Safety is our top priority at PKI, there is no doubt about that. We will never open a ride to our guests unless we are completely confident that the ride is safe.

Q: What about the work done over the winter?

A: We did an extensive amount of work during the off season to improve the comfort of the ride experience.

Q: When was the ride certified by the state?

A: May 19

Q: Is there wood hanging from the track?

A: No.

Q: Did Cedar Fair voluntarily close the ride Sunday?

A: Yes. Our ride operators were fantastic. They recognized the issue and took steps to ensure safety. This set the wheels in motion at PKI. We responded immediately and continue to respond to guest needs.

Q: Have you talked directly with the media at all? Or are you just releasing statements and stonewalling them?

A: We held a press conference on Sunday night. I did interviews with news crews all day yesterday. My job is to keep people informed and I will do that until this story is complete. We utilize a variety of methods to do this – statements, press conferences, one-on-one interviews.

Q: Am I safe on roller coasters?

A: YES

Regards,

Ryan

PKICentral.com - Bringing you the REAL truth, not what truth the media makes up!

Link to post
Share on other sites

To repeat Dane this is a Q&A session. Maureen and the rest of the PKI/Cedar Fair people VALUE your business in the park and want to make sure that you and everyone else get the TRUTH and not just stories. Please post any questions in here and Maureen will answer them. If you have questions that you don't want public, feel free to email Maureen at Maureen.Kaiser@paramountparks.com.

Thank you all..

Link to post
Share on other sites

Maureen Kaiser is an outstanding professional. I hope that Cedar Fair recognizes her talents and helps her climb the corporate ladder. I can see her as a future general manager. She has what it takes to make an awesome park president.

Have a great day!

Italian Chef

chef.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

Maureen,

The media seems to like to demonize the amusement industry every time an unfortunate incident occurs. What are the chances of a person actually getting injured on a stationary ride? Also, how does this compare to the chances of injury or death in other comparable activities, like driving to Florida for a vacation, or even doing other thrill activies such as skydiving, base jumping, or bungee jumping?

Thanks,

Ryan

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm glad that this has been cleared up. From a Cincinnati Enquirer aritcle, it was made to sound like the second helice instead of the Rose Bowl. Wonder why it has been stated that the riders felt a jolt after the Rose Bowl but before the loop?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the kind comments!!

Will this incident effect the operations/daily inspections of the other wooden coasters in the park?

We will continue to fully inspect each of our wooden coasters every morning. As I mentioned, there is an extensive maintenance process that each wooden coaster undergoes daily. This will not change.

At this time, is everyone who was on that ride in good condition now?

Two guests were admitted to the hospital on Sunday. Unfortunately, we don't have information on their condition due to privacy laws associated with medical facilities.

How does the risk on coasters compare to the risk associated with other activities?

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission concluded in a study and determined that a visitor has a one in 1.5 BILLION chance of being fatally injured on a roller coaster. In fact, the injury rates for children's wagons, gum chewing, golf and folding lawn chairs are higher than for ANY amusement ride. In fact, driving to an amusement park has a higher risk of injury than riding the rides at an amusement park.

What is the rate of risk at PKI?

.0004% of our guests have sustained injuries of any kind over the 35 seasons at PKI. This includes slipping on pavement, pinching a finger between the chair and table at LaRosas and tripping over untied shoelaces.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hats off to Maureen. She is always there for the news and always seems to clear things up. Hopefully and i am sure they will that Cedar Fair will recognize her talent and make her GM. thumbsupsmileyanim.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

Maureen,

Q: Is there any speculation that PKI/Cedar Fair will tear down Son of Beast in the coming seasons?

Q: Will anything be done to make the ride smoother and more accomadating to park guest?

Past parks have done this to other rides (Phantoms Revenge)... Thanks! -Hauntguy

Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there any speculation that PKI/Cedar Fair will tear down Son of Beast in the coming seasons?

There is a great deal of online speculation, as you all know. When it comes to the roller coaster Son of Beast, we are currently focused only on the ongoing inspection.

Will anything be done to make the ride smoother and more accomadating to park guest?

Our maintenance team did a great deal of work in the off season to prepare for 2006. Their changes/additions to the ride were to improve the comfort of the ride for our guests.

In 2003, we modified the restraint system to make the seats more comfortable, specifically for those who carry additional weight in the hips and legs.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Is it known if the security camera located on the midcourse brake records, and if so, has it been reviewed to see what condition the riders were in at that point?

I can tell you as far as I know, that the cameras on the rides do not record, but I could be wrong.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there any speculation that PKI/Cedar Fair will tear down Son of Beast in the coming seasons?

There is a great deal of online speculation, as you all know. When it comes to the roller coaster Son of Beast, we are currently focused only on the ongoing inspection.

Will anything be done to make the ride smoother and more accomadating to park guest?

Our maintenance team did a great deal of work in the off season to prepare for 2006. Their changes/additions to the ride were to improve the comfort of the ride for our guests.

In 2003, we modified the restraint system to make the seats more comfortable, specifically for those who carry additional weight in the hips and legs.

Q: I am 5'7 and Son of Beast seats are not comfortable with my legs at all. I rode this year thinking it was fixed. Will the seats get fixed in the future?

Edited by Vortex
Link to post
Share on other sites

If there are any PR majors out there...this would be a perfect example to use in class of an outstanding PR response to a very sensitive--and most likely litigious--situation. While this was a very unfortunate event, I've been really impressed with how the park--and particularly Maureen--has handled it.

And, let's face it...none of us would want to trade the last few work days with her! That's class under pressure for you smile.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

How many people are doing the inspection and are they safe?

I don't know how many people are inspecting the ride at this point, but I do know we have ODA, CF and PKI folks out there.

They are definitely safe. We would never jepordize the safety of anyone at PKI.

I am 5'7 and Son of Beast seats are not comfortable with my legs at all. I rode this year thinking it was fixed. Will the seats get fixed in the future?

I am 5'10 and my three brothers are 6'4+. Some rides are simply more comfortable for people of different body types. I often get questions about weight restrictions on rides - there are no restrictions, per se, but you may fit more comfortably in some rides and not others. It depends on how you carry your weight and how you fit into the designed restraint. The same is true for height. My brothers and I are mostly legs. This makes the design of the Son of Beast cars a little more challenging for us. If we were longer in the torso, this would be a different experience. Does this make sense?

As a guest, you know your personal restrictions better than we do. Your safety and comfort are our top concern, but we ask you to use your best judgement on what you can handle as a rider.

Will the seats and cars get bigger? I honestly doubt it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It is wonderful that Maureen is sharing this information with us, and I thank her for that, but why isn’t this information posted on the PKI website so the general public has the same answers?

This site seems to be mostly PKI staff and pass holders. As a gold pass holder and life long visitor of the park, my confidence has not dropped in the park. We understand that accidents can happen and while they are very rare we know that PKI will do everything they can to make the coaster safe before it reopens, well, I hope that most of the people on this site would understand that. It is more likely for the general public to go directly to the PKI website for information instead of this site.

The question and answers from Maureen get right to the point and are facts rather then speculation. Is PKI planning on posting these to their site at some point?

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's absolutely amazes me that Maureen is really taking the time to keep folk on this site updated to the circumstances around this incident.

I'd like to thank Maureen for the time that she has taken and for the absolutely professional way in which she has handled what must me a most difficult situation. I can think of no other PR Rep that would so proactively handle this situation. Cudos to you for how you have handled this and every situation at the park.

I think that it probably speaks very highly of those that run this site, participate in this board and hold our park as so important.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It is wonderful that Maureen is sharing this information with us, and I thank her for that, but why isn’t this information posted on the PKI website so the general public has the same answers? 

This site seems to be mostly PKI staff and pass holders.  As a gold pass holder and life long visitor of the park, my confidence has not dropped in the park.  We understand that accidents can happen and while they are very rare we know that PKI will do everything they can to make the coaster safe before it reopens, well, I hope that most of the people on this site would understand that.  It is more likely for the general public to go directly to the PKI website for information instead of this site.

The question and answers from Maureen get right to the point and are facts rather then speculation.  Is PKI planning on posting these to their site at some point?

Probably not. She's doing this for YOU, the crazy fan people of the net. As much of a tool as a site like this can be to the park, it's also risky about starting rumors... especially in a situation like this. She wants to cut out of the fluff and the false facts that the media has put out.

Maureen, do you think this incident with SOB will affect how other rides will be inspected in the future?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Maureen,

Thanks for all of the great information. Undoubtedly, Sonny will be going through some changes over the coming months and, probably, years. I have a few suggestions on how to improve the SOB cars:

- Increased legroom, of course.

- Cupholders to accomodate our cocktails from Walkabout Pub.

- Fold down trays to accomodate our LaRosa's pizza.

- LCD screens so that we don't miss any QTV.

These are just a few minor changes that could make Son of Beast a much more enjoyable experience.

Thank you for your consideration.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a few suggestions on how to improve the SOB cars:

- Increased legroom, of course.

- Cupholders to accomodate our cocktails from Walkabout Pub.

- Fold down trays to accomodate our LaRosa's pizza.

- LCD screens so that we don't miss any QTV.

Well, thanks a lot, beastisbest. Now my IT guys are about to report me because I sprayed pop all over my computer screen. Excuse me while I catch my breath from laughing.

My thoughts on this:

1. Increased legroom - see above.

2. Cupholders - a given IF we allowed stuff like cocktails on the ride which, as a reminder, we don't.

3. Fold-down trays - I love the LaRosa's, don't get me wrong. However, when I flew to GERMANY in March there was no meal. Don't expect one on a three-minute ride.

4. LCD screens to watch QTV - Remember when your parents told you to turn off the TV and go outside? Well, I'm saying it now. The best views at PKI are on the Eiffel Tower, Drop Zone and Son of Beast. QTV can be seen anywhere. This view is priceless.

Thanks for the levity. You rock!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Maureen,

Thank you for your dedication. It doesn't matter whether Paramount, Cedar Fair, or even Six Flags owns Kings Island so long as you remain at the park.

It is you, and like-minded, dedicated employees, who deliver a world class experience, not corporate. Thank you for all that you do.

Sincerely,

Charles "Italian Chef" Infosino

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...