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    Accident occurs on Superman on August 6, 2001

At 3:00 PM on August 6, 2001, a PVC pipe used to carry high-pressure air to the twelve magnetic fin brakes on Superman developed a leak, causing the brakes to engage just half way. The attendants of Superman, along with the operator, those waiting in line, and especially those on the blue train were caught by surprise when, as the blue train began to leave, the red train came right into the station, pushing the blue one. Although the red train did not stop as it was supposed to, the speed was cut in half to about 20 mph as it rear-ended the blue train. About twenty-two were taken to area hospitals as a precautionary measure and only minor injuries were reported.

The ride remained closed afterward for an investigation and so that the brakes could be fixed and the problem prevented from coming back. The PVC pipes were replaced with steel-reinforced air hoses and two of the collasping brakes were made stationary. The blue train finally returned to finish the season. It was not until the following season on July 3, 2002 that the red train became operational again.

    Photos:

Here, you can see the blue train halfway out of the station and up onto the lift hill. It was exitting the station when it was forced up this far.

This is an aerial shot of Superman's back brakes. The red train can be seen sticking out the back of the station, past the brakes.

Here is another view of the back brakes with Superman's red train partially visible.

EMTs examine those that were on the two trains at the time of the accident. Photo taken from behind park territory, probably from a boat on the Connecticut River.

Photos were not taken by webmaster.

    Below is an article from ultimaterollercoaster.com reporting on the Superman accident

    "August 6, 2001

    Trains Collide on Superman Ride of Steel at Six Flags

    Agawam, MA – Two trains on the Superman Ride of Steel roller coaster at Six Flags New England collided Monday afternoon injuring 19 passengers.

    The accident occurred at approximately 3 p.m. (EDT) when an inbound train completing the circuit failed to stop in the brake run and continued into the loading station striking another train. The train sitting in the station was stopped for boarding purposes.

    According to reports at least 19 passengers were transported to area hospitals to be treated for back and neck strains. A fire department spokesman reported that there were no serious injuries.

    Six Flags first aid personnel immediately responded to the scene to treat passengers while paramedics were called to the park. It was reported that ten ambulances transported guests to area hospitals for further examination and treatment.

    In a statement park officials confirmed the immediate closure of the attraction and stated that they will conduct an investigation to determine the cause. It is the first known accident on this roller coaster.

    Superman coined a "hypercoaster" for its layout of large drops for speed, bunny hills for airtime, high-speed helixes and no inversions was designed by Intamin of Switzerland. The coaster stands 208-feet, has a 221-foot initial drop, a top speed of 77 mph and 5,400 feet of steel track.

    Intamin designed the coaster to use a state-of-the-art magnetic braking system to slow and stop the two 36-passenger trains.

    This was the second-year of operation for the Superman coaster at Six Flags New England that has become the park's flagship attraction. Last week the coaster was rated the number two steel coaster in the world in a survey conducted by industry trade-journal Amusement Today.

    Two similar roller coasters also designed by Intamin operate under the same name at Six Flags America (Largo, Maryland) and Six Flags Darien Lake (Buffalo, New York). It is unknown if Six Flags will close those coasters while they investigate this accident. "

    Source: Ultimate Roller Coaster - www.ultimaterollercoaster.com

     

    Below is an article from South Coast Today reporting on the Superman accident

    "19 injured in Superman coaster crash

    By Adam Gorlick, Associated Press writer

     AGAWAM -- Two cars on the Superman Ride of Steel roller coaster at the Six Flags New England park collided yesterday afternoon, injuring at least 19 people.

     According to a statement by park officials, the injuries did not appear to be serious. They expected "a few more" people to be taken to hospital as a "precautionary measure."

     The statement did not specify to which hospitals the injured were being taken.

    Mike Kintner, a spokesman for Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, said it had received 10 of the injured. He said he had been told other patients were taken to Mercy Hospital in Springfield and Holyoke Hospital.

    "The majority of patients seem to be having minor injuries," Kintner said.

    The hospital was told that 16 people were being taken to hospitals from the park.

    Kara Sala, a spokeswoman at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, said the hospital received seven victims, ages 13-19. She said they all are in good condition.

    Holyoke Hospital said they received three victims. The hospital did not report their conditions.

    Fire officials also said that all the injuries appeared minor; however, 10 ambulances had been sent to the scene, said Agawam firefighter Bill Barber.

    Ariel Rosenthal, 17, visiting from Israel with his family, was in line for the ride with his sister and parents when the accident happened.

    As one train was leaving the platform to begin the ride, a second train pulled in behind it, slamming into the first train, Rosenthal said.

    "It sounded like a big balloon popping. There was some smoke and I saw blood on someone's face," he said.

    Justin Lin, 20, of Brookline, was waiting in line and a friend of his was in the car that was struck from behind. He said the second car was going about 30 mph to 40 mph and was not braking when it struck the first car.

    "It just came flying in," he said. "There was no braking at all."

    The park remained open yesterday afternoon, but the ride, one of the park's seven roller coasters, was closed. The Superman ride had opened in May 2000.

    The accident is the second on a roller coaster in a New England amusement park in the past two weeks, and the fourth this season.

    Five people were injured on July 27 when two cars collided on the Yankee Cannonball roller coaster at Canobie Lake Park in Salem, N.H. That accident was blamed on human error.

    A park maintenance worker was killed June 13 when he was hit by the Boulder Dash roller coaster at the Lake Compounce amusement park in Bristol, Conn.

    The next day, the Zoomerang roller coaster at that park failed to stop at the correct location, and 26 people were stuck for more than 90 minutes before firefighters were able to bring them down.

    The 5,400-foot Superman Ride of Steel roller coaster has a maximum height of 208 feet and reaches speeds of up to 80 miles per hour, according to the Six Flags Web site."

    Source: South Coast Today - www.s-t.com