Haven't seen anything posted on this yet, so I thought that I
would turn in a report. Went to SFA for a few hours after work this
mornign mith my friend Jon. Got to the park at tabout 10:45, and got
in a little after 11. Of course, we headed right back to Superman, and
got in three rides in about 45 minutes. Heading back into the line for
a fourth, walking throught the deserted queue line, I got to within
about 30 feet of the stairs up into the station when all of a sudden a
loud, ratcheting, grinding noise filled the air. In about 1.5 seconds,
I had 3 distinct thoughts.
#1- That is NOT normal.
#2 - Could the anti-rollbacks make THAT much noise?
#3 - Oh, S*#t, the chain broke!!
I ran up the stairs, and sure enough that's what had happened. I
was hoping to get up there in time to see that chain come sliding down
the hill, but by the time I made it into the station it was all lying
in a heap at the base of the lift. Several mothers in front of me
starting screaming because they had children on the train that was
stopped 3/4's or more of the way up the lift, and I tried to calm them
down and tell them that the safety features of the coaster worked just
fine, and in a few moments the passengers would begin to be removed
from the train and walked down the lift stairs.
But since they didn't even seem to realise I was there and
talking to them, which I only did because the ride-ops were doing
their jobs and rushing to attend to the stranded riders on the lift, I
wathced them run out of the line and then reached into my waist pack
and took out my camera. I took some pictures of the chain lying in a
heap and then left the line (after advising several die hard still in
the gates that a broken lift chain assuredly means the coaster will
NOT be back up today) I went outside the queue to get some shots of
the train on the lift. About five minutes after the stoppage they sent
someone out to clear the queue, and about five minutes after that they
pulled tarps over the pile o chain. Response time was amazing, there
was a car with severl people in it at the scene in easily under 2
By about 5 minutes after noon they were leading the first
passengers down, and to the best of my knowledge no one was injured.
We hung around the area for a few more minutes just watching, then
left to ride other things. By about 12:30 the train looked to be fully
Jon and I were on the dispatch *right* before that train, and,
seeing as no one was hurt, I think that it would have been sorta neat
to be on that train when the chain broke. Still, it was also neat
being on the ground and able to get stills, which will be an
intersting addition to my private collection. I did feel really bad
for those two moms, though. Also FWIW, no one on the train was
screaming or panicking, that I could hear fron 150 ft below, anyway.
Last note, to the couple who had the backseat when the coaster
E-stopped for the guy who took off his shoes, I know that I know you
guys, but names fail me, and I never saw you again that day to say
hello, and am not even sure you noticed me in line. But hello.
Walt Breymier, been where the action is all day today