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Accident at Gröna Lund

Nicky Borrill

Strata Poster
After over 30 years those trains amass quite some mileage. Just roughly calculate how often they run each day, how many days each year. And Grona Lund like Liseberg keeps those trains running - maybe minus 1 each time for routine maintenance. So I guess after 30 years each train has more mileage than an average car - and if you aren't into young/oldtimers you replace a car way earlier.

As said before - no matter what make: All coaster trains should be replaced after at most 30 years. Maybe legislation would help enforce this.

And also again: Mindbender (Wonderland) and Quimera cannot really be compared to this accident - those rides failed for utter lack of maintenance.
So this 'isn't' a maintenance failure? Has that been concluded already?
 

SaiyanHajime

CF Legend
Wear and tear. Fatigue.
Which is a maintenance failure.

I mean, there's no other possible explanation here. Even if all maintenance personnel did what they were technically meant to do, you could argue that continuing to run these trains at all, given their age, is a maintenance failure. The parts should be fully replaced after X amount of cycles regardless. Not to mention this is an accident that has repeated itself.
 

SimonProD

Mega Poster
Dunno how its outside Germany but here you also have to proove negligence if an accident happens. If a park owner did all maintenance by the book and is in compliance with all TÜV rules its very hard here to pin the legal blame on the park owner. If he had documented all required maintenance and checks as well as getting his anual TÜV badge there is nearly no legal way to make him pay damages. Afterwards the TÜV might add new regulations and checks for similar rides - but that would not count in the current legal case.
 

rob666

Hyper Poster
Surely the major failure of a full wheel group assembly is evidence of negligent maintenance itself, whatever certification is offered.
My books are in order, I did my checks, you can't blame me?
I imagine there will be litigation, and the park will settle inside or outside court.
 

loefet

Roller Poster
Long time no write, but had to put in a news update from the tragic accident at Gröna Lund.

Sure a lot of it is from Aftonbladet which is a bit of sensationalistic, but it's mostly free to reed at least.

In the news today:

The train have been removed from the track to conduct further investigations.
The Police have made a search of Jetline and retrieved maintenance logs.
They have found cracks in the rear wheel assemblies of the first car as well, which are going to be examined to see if they appeared at the point of the accident or if they are older. Apparently some employee said there were cracks in the front car wheel assemblies but not in the rest of the train.

Since the accident there have been, employees complaining about only been given 1 day of training before being put into maintenance duties:

People have given reports that there have been something "wrong" with Jetline in the weeks leading up to the accident, loose restraints, unusual noises, carriages kicked into place on the track, etc.

On a better note then there were only 3 people still in the hospital since Tuesday.

There is speculations that this may end up scrapping the ride, wonder what is going to happen to at least Wilda Musen at that point.



Also today there is news that Liseberg have closed Lisebergbanan for the day, for some maintenance after a fault (which apparently have nothing to do with Jetline). They have received a lot of flack since they didn't shut down Lisebergbanan after the accident on it's sister ride.


I might return if there is any news on this topic.
 

Fluorineer

Mega Poster
There is speculations that this may end up scrapping the ride, wonder what is going to happen to at least Wilda Musen at that point.

Also today there is news that Liseberg have closed Lisebergbanan for the day, for some maintenance after a fault (which apparently have nothing to do with Jetline). They have received a lot of flack since they didn't shut down Lisebergbanan after the accident on it's sister ride.

In 1696, Britain introduced the doors-and-windows tax, because it turns out that correctly assessing the prosperity and wealth of a taxpayer is incredibly difficult in rural England, because nobody kept contracts and everybody shared their properties anyway. So they tried to simplify it as much as they could, they just counted doors and windows, hoped that this would be a good approximation of prosperity, and taxed the owners accordingly.

This is exactly how I feel about these public reactions. An accident on a roller coaster is easy to read, it's like counting doors and windows. So they go to Liseberg, find another coaster that looks the same, and think that this roller coaster must also be one of those very bad™ ones. And then 5 people write angry Google Maps reviews, which counts as receiving lots of flack from the public™.

This is why roller coasters are built in the first place. If people have nothing exhilarating to do, they resort to stirring the ****.
 

rob666

Hyper Poster
Personally, I think shutting a similar ride, manufactured by the same company, for checks around the wheel bogies etc, is a plain and simple logical step following a fatal accident.
Absolutely nothing to do with a doors and windows tax whatsoever.
It also has absolutely nothing to do with why rollercoasters are built in the first place, in my humble opinion.
 

Jonsson

Roller Poster
It is in human nature to want to find the one responsible for an accident and put the blame on them, it's very clearly visible in this very thread.

However, as long as maintenance has been done according to law and regulations and per the manufacturers instruction I have a very hard time seeing how blame could be put on Gröna Lund. They have to do maintenance based on what is known, not on feelings. If the accident is caused by fatigue and microcracks the recommendation should be for the manufacturer to update the manual accordingly. It could also have been a manufacturing error, causing the subframe to be of lower quality than intended. Compare this to the Rainbow accident at Liseberg back in 2008, Liseberg had done everything according to the manual, the part that failed had only had 3500 service hours out of the 5000 before needing to be replaced.

Speaking of the manufacturer, although Jetline is designed by Anton Schwarzkopf it is a Zierer coaster. The trains are also not your typical Schwarzkopf train but is of a completely different design, including the wheel assemblies. Accordingly Lisebergbanans new trains are also made by their original manufacturer, Zierer. The new trains are even visible on their homepage: Lisebergbanan trains
 

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Surely the major failure of a full wheel group assembly is evidence of negligent maintenance itself, whatever certification is offered.
My books are in order, I did my checks, you can't blame me?
I imagine there will be litigation, and the park will settle inside or outside court.
Yup, that's how it works and why there is certification in the first place. The certificate is a third-party declaration that all due procedure has been followed and that the standard ways to check for damages haven't revealed that anything is wrong. It's the park's "we did what we're supposed to" badge that puts them in the clear legally speaking. Note that it doesn't mean the park did everything possible to ensure there were no defects, or even everything in their power. Just that they did what the law asks of them. By definition, they aren't required to do more than that.

If it turns out that the law didn't ask enough, the law (well, industry regulation) must be updated. If it turns out the inspector missed something they should have seen, the certification organ is in trouble. But as @Jonsson said, the park will be in the clear. They can't be expected to go above and beyond the required maintenance, just on a hunch that the inspection procedures might not have caught everything that could feasibly be wrong with the ride.

Of course, if something occurred before the accident that should have made it obvious to the operator that the ride was dangerous, and they chose to proceed with operation anyway, then other laws apply and the certification won't make a difference. But if they were found to act in good faith and did what the law asks, they will not be legally guilty of anything.
 

Nicky Borrill

Strata Poster
Yup, that's how it works and why there is certification in the first place. The certificate is a third-party declaration that all due procedure has been followed and that the standard ways to check for damages haven't revealed that anything is wrong. It's the park's "we did what we're supposed to" badge that puts them in the clear legally speaking. Note that it doesn't mean the park did everything possible to ensure there were no defects, or even everything in their power. Just that they did what the law asks of them. By definition, they aren't required to do more than that.

If it turns out that the law didn't ask enough, the law (well, industry regulation) must be updated. If it turns out the inspector missed something they should have seen, the certification organ is in trouble. But as @Jonsson said, the park will be in the clear. They can't be expected to go above and beyond the required maintenance, just on a hunch that the inspection procedures might not have caught everything that could feasibly be wrong with the ride.

Of course, if something occurred before the accident that should have made it obvious to the operator that the ride was dangerous, and they chose to proceed with operation anyway, then other laws apply and the certification won't make a difference. But if they were found to act in good faith and did what the law asks, they will not be legally guilty of anything.
Given what is being said at the moment, (including, apparently, by operators / staff) the importance of this paragraph cannot be understated.
 

loefet

Roller Poster
This is exactly how I feel about these public reactions. An accident on a roller coaster is easy to read, it's like counting doors and windows. So they go to Liseberg, find another coaster that looks the same, and think that this roller coaster must also be one of those very bad™ ones. And then 5 people write angry Google Maps reviews, which counts as receiving lots of flack from the public™.
Liseberg got a bit more than just some angry tweets, though it might been blown up by press hungry for scoops.
Though Liseberg reasoned that this accident is due to Jetline running original trains and the cause is material failure, where as their trains were newly replaced and will run without those issues for many more years:

Gröna Lund is planning to open the park again at the star of next week: https://www.gp.se/nyheter/sverige/gröna-lund-planerar-öppna-nästa-vecka-1.103667345
 

Nitefly

Hyper Poster
Mmm I disagree with some of above sentiments on a number of grounds.

It’s a matter of foreseeability:

(1) whether you are in a position of responsibility (yes - parks have a duty to ensure their guests are safe);

(2) your position to know about the risk (industry knowledge of both prior accidents and standards for modern design);

(3) the known severity of consequences should the risk crystallise which in turn informs the need to take steps to mitigate the risk (fatal accident foreseeable);

(4) whether it's practicable for the park to take steps to reduce risk (yes - clearly it's within the financial ability of a deep pockets park to significantly reduce these risks); then

(5) setting that against the actions that the park to reduce the (foreseeable) specific risk (of death) and any other behaviour that suggests the park has an attitude of disregarding safety.

'Maintenance logs' and 'certification to industry standards' etc will help avoid criminal liability for failing to comply with said standards, but it's not much of a defence against any outdated, then-knowingly flawed 'ye olde design' and any risk inducing operations, if that can be readily evidenced as being substandard (which it probably can - I anticipate an expert engineering report targeting the shortcomings of the design could foreseeably ‘Captain Hindsight’ the ride to shreds). Standards exist to ensure some minimum safety standards, not to provide those who are being assessed with a belt-and-braces shield to liability. And I haven't even touched upon how riders were readily able to get ejected from / climb out of the trains.

It's seemingly an old outdated ride, it's clearly the responsibility of the park to ensure it's safe, it probably could have been substantially refurbished to modern standards or decommissioned and this was foreseeably necessary... but (apparently) it wasn't and it did catastrophically fail resulting in a death. ‘Old ride kills someone’ is really not a good look place to start chalking-up a defence from, IMO.

Even aside from the law's usual mantra of 'deep pockets should pay', it'll be in nobody’s commercial interest to avoid compensating the injured/estates. I mean really, what sort of look would that be for Gronaland and its insurer?

Personally, I doubt that there will be any litigation between the park and the injured/estates over 'liability'. I expect the park (really, it’s insurers) will willingly pay out rather than burn costs trying to defend it and suffer the public, industry and commercial embarrassment of trying to argue out loud that “it's not Gronaland’s fault that guests fell out of this aging ride”. Factoring into that, and apologies for sounding crass, the civil payouts are unlikely to be devastatingly high (i.e. absorbable and can be taken on the chin).

Quantum will be litigated in the usual way though. Then, insurers will consider and may involve other entities to apportion that liability (manufacturers / third party maintenance etc), which may make the final resolution go slower as everyone involved may need to agree in principle to the scope of payouts (to avoid the whole ‘you didn’t mitigate losses’ shenanigans). I expect this approach is also what will have happened with the recent Top Thrill Dragster accident that caused its closure.

But what do I know.
 
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Trax

Mega Poster
It should also be noted that despite operating the rides, most technicians have little knowledge about the actual hardware itself.
They know what to check, they now what to look for, but mostly from experience or the manufacturers guidelines. Most technicians do not know if a certain axis from a certain manufacturer is more likely to fail if another one. They do not have the time to go above and beyond for regular maintenance, but keep to what the manufacturer states or the parks policies. The manufacturer designed the parts, they now exactly what kind of stress every single bolt, every single piece of metal can take. And based on that knowledge, they hand out maintenance guidelines to the parks.

It should also be noted, that not every park sticks to the manufacturers guidelines. Some go the extra mile and inspect more than they have to, and change parts more often than deemed necessary by the manufacturer. Europa-Park comes to mind here, but also Djurs Sommerland is a strong candidate for this kind of park. Most parks will just do the minimum what they have to, for the ride being deemed safe. This might sound bad, but it isn't. Rollercoasters are designed way stronger than they need to, and the maintenance guidelines usually reflect what the ride could take if it wasn't overspeced. No manufacturer wants to be in the news when a part fails, even though all necessary maintenance work has been conducted.

It is still possible, that the part just broke because it was never even expected to be used as long as it did, I can't rule it out at this point. It could be a design flaw in the ride, which was not detected anywhere*. The latter option being unlikely, considering the decades the ride operated without any incident.
Last option is that their maintenance was not up to standard, which sounds most likely to me right now. However, they will be a long investigation, which will yield an answer.

*an example would be original Mindbender (i believe, could also be Quimera). With the wheel assembly being located on both sides of the train instead of a central axis as most wooden coasters use, the actual track width has to vary a tiny bit over the course of the ride. With one fixed axis for both wheel-assemblies, the distance between them remains the same at every point in time. But with individual setups, the distance will shrink by a few mm during a curve. Turned out that this was not accounted for during the track construction, which caused immense stress on the wheel-assembly every time the train passed affected track pieces. This will eventually lead to a (partial) derailment.
 

SimonProD

Mega Poster
The question is did guests and staff report the "unusual noises" to the proper channels in the park? I once rode Alpina Bahn and noticed a banging sound coming from one of the rear car wheel assemblies - this was still with the old trains. I reported that to the ride ops. The train was immedialty cleared and an engineer rode alone. I assume he confirmed the noises as the train was taken out of service and another train was instead activated. When they later saw me I got my next ride for free.
 

Arttu

Roller Poster
All general public is more likely to report to newspaper than the ride ops and park management 😀 But as ride op i have got many good reports of unusual sounds and vibrations
 

Trax

Mega Poster
Even if reported to the right person, this does not mean that action will be taken.
Most "complaints" by guests are just random, or some thoosies who feel like they know a lot about rides when they don't. And if you called maintenance 10 times for nothing, just because a guest felt like something happened, you won't do the same for the 11th guest.

A friend and myself once had another kind of "incident". Upon riding a rollercoaster, we did realize that one bearing made some scratching sounds on the lifthill. As we had a fast pass for that day, we did what every sensible thoosie would do - we rode in different rows to find the wheel in question, realizing that in additon to the sound, the wheel in question produced a jolt every rotation.
It was already clear to us that the bearing had an issue - this is not critical, as it still worked good enough, but we knew that it had to be replaced soon. So we told the ride-ops who called maintenance and told him which wheel it is, and what we experienced. It should be noted that he spoke close to no english, so it was not that easy to explain it to him.
Anyway, instead of simply taking a ride in the seat we told (and showed) him, that would have made it clear what happened, he stood on the lifthill for 2 rides to listen to the sounds (the catwalk was on the other side of the defect bearing), and then left without doing anything.

To be fair, when I was at the ame park a week later, the issue had been fixed.

Long story short: Even if they hear what you say, they might just don't act on the spot. Either to keep queues under control, or simply because they don't want to waste the time during the day.
 

Steely Dan

Mega Poster
What terrible news.

RIP to the rider who lost their life.

What are the odds that jet line ever reopens after this incident?

1 outta 3?

1 outta 10?

1 in a million?
 

loefet

Roller Poster
Jetline is going to stay closed until the investigation is finished, and Gröna Lund is taking precautions and do through safety checks on all their bigger rides before the reopening next week: https://omni.se/jetline-halls-stangd-hela-sommaren-invantar-rapport/a/MoXzoR

Zierer says that the age of their rides isn't a problem as long as all maintenance is done by the books, and that rides today are built to a better standard than those 35 years ago: https://omni.se/jetline-tillverkarens-forsta-ord-inga-skal-till-oro/a/onxj7m

And the guy that was crawling onto the beam have been interviewed, and says that the lap bar opened during the accident and that his wife who sat next to him fell out of the train, and he leaned over to grab her, she still fell to the ground but he was lucky to be able to reach the beam. The wife was seriously hurt but still alive. https://omni.se/mikael-klamrade-sig-fast-i-balken-efter-dodsolyckan-ser-hur-min-fru-faller/a/jlx6OL

Some go the extra mile and inspect more than they have to, and change parts more often than deemed necessary by the manufacturer. Europa-Park comes to mind here,
Nothing strange about that, it's run by Mack, Europapark is their proving ground and give them a lot of real world data on which they can base their maintenance guidelines on.
 
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