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Virtual reality gets too real when ride strands patrons

January 13, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

A Batman-themed, virtual-reality-enhanced rollercoaster at Movie World on the Gold Coast proved more exciting than patrons anticipated when a “mechanical issue with the chain” forced the ride to stop, stranding 20 passengers for 90 minutes on Wednesday.

Fire crews and theme park staff helped evacuate the riders, who ranged in age from 10 to 50, local media reported.

Four patrons were rescued by fire crews (two by cherry picker and two via vertical rescue with ropes) and 16 were evacuated down the external stairs beside the ride, the Brisbane Times reported.

The fault on the Movie World ride followed a safety blitz on theme parks in Queensland.

A statement issued by Movie World said the ride stopped after a mechanical issue with the chain.

The ride, from Movie World website

“Due to the time required to reset the mechanical issue, we have engaged the Queensland Fire Brigade to assist with the evacuation process,” the statement said.

“Our team and the Fire Brigade regularly train for this type of evacuation.”

The Arkham Asylum Coaster, formerly known as Lethal Weapon, can reach speeds of up to 85 km/h and has a maximum height of 32 metres. The Suspended Looping Coaster travels over a distance of 765 metres and has five  inversions, or loops, across its course. The ride also features a 360-degree virtual reality experience that syncs the movement of the coaster with visual effects.

Publicity for the ride says: “This crazy experience will have adrenaline junkies harnessed into the Ivy League of Insanity for the shock of their life.

“Strap into a brand new train featuring electrifying on board audio and rocket through Arkham Asylum at speeds of up to 85km. Race along in the terrifying new trains and experience awesome upper body freedom like never before. Pull 4.2Gs as you face five stomach-churning inversions on this not to be missed coaster.

“Only the bravest of people can enter the Asylum to face one of the most infamous criminal minds on the planet, The Joker, as he attempts to infect all of Gotham City with dangerous monsters. With The Joker on the loose, riders will need to beware as the likes of Harley Quinn and Killer Croc could lurk around any corner.”

Virtual reality on Arkham Asylum costs AUD 5 extra and is available for purchase in the theme park before you ride the rollercoaster.

MEANWHILE, another Gold Coast theme park, Dreamworld, issued an update.

Dreamworld’s Tail Spin and Tower of Terror have been cleared by the multi-level safety review and have re-commenced operations.

The review included Workplace Health and Safety Queensland’s audit, Dreamworld’s internal engineering review, Pitt & Sherry’s independent review and an external peer-review by UK based theme park safety specialists, LTC.

Special summer tickets which include entry to both Dreamworld and WhiteWater World are now available.

Written by Peter Needham

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