• Kyodo News


A 34-year-old man died Sunday after falling from an amusement park ride at Tokyo Dome City Attractions in Bunkyo Ward, police said.

The victim, who was pronounced dead at a hospital two hours after the accident, was not immediately identified.

The man was on the Spinning Coaster Maihime, a roller-coaster ride with revolving cars, when he fell at around 12:40 p.m. Sunday.

The Spinning Coaster reaches a speed of 39.6 kph as it cruises the 305-meter-long track. The man is believed to have fallen from a height of 7 to 8 meters.

The accident is the third to hit the park in as many months.

In November, a 26-year-old female worker lost three fingers while checking wires and motors at the top of the popular Tower Hacker attraction at 9:28 a.m. before the park opened.

The Tower Hacker is an 80-meter-tall tower that lifts riders to the top, then lets them free-fall vertically at almost 100 kph. In December, parts from the Thunder Dolphin roller coaster injured a girl on the ground.

During a news conference later Sunday, an official from the operating company said workers found no problems during equipment checks Sunday morning.

Visitors to the amusement park, including many children, were shocked and scared Sunday after seeing the man lying on the ground.

“I heard a big heavy bang and went (closer to the ride). Then I saw that a man who had fallen was being given CPR,” said a 39-year-old man from Ota Ward.

“My children saw it together with me. We don’t want to take anymore rides,” he said.

Witnesses painted a chaotic scene of police officers, first-responders and onlookers milling about in disbelief.

“The vehicle moves while spinning irregularly. I didn’t think you could fall off as long as you hung on to the safety bar on your waist, but this accident is scary,” said Yutaro Yamaguchi, 20, who had ridden the ride that morning.

The Metropolitan Police Department suspects the ride started moving before the man, who was large, had been fully secured.

Since operating the ride doesn’t depend on the status of the safety bars, the roller coaster can launch whether they are locked or not, park officials said.

The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry sent four officials to check for structural problems or safety control defects.

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