Park News - (1/21/14) The Theme Park Guy is back and has posted a new photo trip report from Hopi Hari in Brazil. It is interesting to note that the La Tour Eiffel drop tower ride that was involved in a deadly accident back in March 2012 has apparently been permanently closed. The tower structure however still remains standing, but the rider carts have had the seats and restraints removed, and have all been lifted to the top of the tower. You can see an interesting picture of the cars at the top in the report.
Unfortunately, it still appears as if the park is keeping the previously announced 10-inversion steel coaster project on hold, as there was no report about any new project on the project.
(3/6/12) A shocking video was put online by a local Brazil news station who happened to have a news helicopter shooting the Le Tour Eiffel ride tower while investigators were cycling the ride car through a test run. Watch the seat on the far left side as it drops… the shoulder restraint does not hold at all and flys open as soon as the car drops and slams shut upon hitting the start of the magnetic brake run. \
(3/5/12) So far the fallout from the deadly accident at Hopi Hari last week has now caused the entire park to be shut down for at least the next 10 days for an investigation. According to my sources, and their translated reports from the local news, the story as we know it is quite complicated.
First of all, from what I’ve been told, the actual seat the girl was riding in was said to have been made off-limited and inactive since 2003 by the park. I’m told that the reason this action was taken by the park was that it was determined in 2003 that the Eiffel Tower themed decorative structures that surrounds the lower half of the ride comes a little too close to that particular seat. While your average rider was in no danger of striking it on the way down, if a very tall rider with long legs were to ride in that particular seat, there was a possible danger. To ensure no one would sit in this seat, the local story being told is that it was supposed to have been welded shut, never to be used again. As the seat was taken out of order before the park added the extra crotch belt, it was apparently never fitted with the safety belt.
Jump ahead nearly a decade to today and it seems that either the seat was never welded shut, or that someone in the maintenance department may have fixed it so that it would open once again. A rider operator is also seemingly to blame here for allowing the girl to ride in the off-limits seat, and for failing to tug on the crotch belt to ensure it was locked… because there was likely no belt to lock at all. This all falls even further to show a training failure for the ride operations team.
Like I said, it’s a complicated mess… and an accident that never should have happened. At the end of the 10 day investigation, if it is determined that more time is needed, the park can be ordered to be closed for an additional 10 days. Following that, I’d expect to see a pretty hefty lawsuit filed against the park as well by the family.
(2/27/12) A 14-year old girl died over the weekend when she somehow fell out of the of the Le Torre Eiffel ride (Intamin Giant Drop) at the Hopi Hari theme park in Brazil. According to witnesses, it appeared that her safety restraint somehow came lose as the car entered the magnetic braking area near the bottom of the drop. The restraints are held in place by a double-redundant safety system, with an additional third system in the form of a manually latched safety strap that runs between the legs and hooks on the bottom of the restraint bar.
Hopi Hari’s version is a little different from those found on American versions of the ride, which had a simple clip locking the strap instead of a seat-belt style latch. That said, it should have still been just as effective… assuming that it was locked in place during the ride and not unlatched by the rider. While not mentioned in the report, I did talk with a few industry people who have speculated that perhaps she could have been riding with a very loose restraint (hoping for more airtime). If the belt was unlocked by the rider, or left unlocked/unchecked by the ride ops (which also fits in to the theory of how she could have ridden with a very loose restraint), it is possible that force of braking could have allowed her to slip through the gap if she was small, as the restraint was still reported as being in the locked position after the ride. Even still, this is somewhat of a long shot of a theory as the bottom of the seat is contoured, with a bump between the legs.
This sounds familiar at all you may be thinking back to the 1999 accident where a 12-year old boy somehow fell out from an identical style ride at Paramount’s Great America. This was the very reason that the crotch belt backup safety system was added to these style rides in the first place, as the rides did not feature them before this accident. After a lengthy investigation, the cause of death in this case was never determined, as all the safety systems were found to be in perfect working order. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and park staff who are suffering right now.
2014 - Nothing is known at this point in time, nothing new reported for 2013 either...
???? - 10 Inversion Coaster - Confirmed - (8/30/12) According to Screamscape sources Hopi Hari has delayed their 10 inversion coaster project while the park is trying to recover from the tragic accident earlier this year. The drop tower still remains closed and there is no word on if it will even reopen or not.
(1/23/12) Hopi Hari Mania posted some new construction pictures showing off the start of work on the park’s new 10-Inversion Intamin coaster.
(1/4/12) Coaster track have arrived on site at Hopi Hari for the park’s new Intamin 10-Looper coaster which will have dark red track and yellow supports. Ground clearing has also begun as you can see here.
(10/21/11) Hopi Hari has announced that they will install a “new version” of an Intamin 10 inversion steel coaster for 2012. The park will have a name the ride contest in the near future, but it will be located in their Wild West section, feature two new open style trains. It will have a track length of 875 meters (2870 ft) and a first drop of 33 meters (108 ft) taken at a 45º angle.
(3/28/11) While we really don’t know much of anything, I’m told that the “park director’ has confirmed that a new coaster is on the way for as early as 2012, as they look at proposals from Vekoma and Intamin.
(3/25/11) I’ve heard rumors Hopi Hari was already talking with Intamin and Vekoma about buying a major roller coaster to add to the park in the next year or two that would likely be given a superhero theme, as they seem to be hoping to copy of the success of Six Flags.