A pair of test dummies flew off a roller coaster in Ocean City, New Jersey, during a recent safety test, crashing into the hotel next door and damaging a section of the roof, according to news reports.
The incident happened April 20 at Jersey Shore amusement park Playland's Castaway Cove during a test of the GaleForce coaster, according to WCAU-TV.
Park President Brian Hartley confirmed no one was injured in the mishap and insisted that the ride is safe.
"It's an unfortunate situation," Hartley told WCAU. It seems water used to fill the dummies and keep them at the appropriate test weight had leaked out, causing the accident.
The owners of a New Jersey amusement park are trying to assure customers that the GaleForce roller coaster at Playland’s Castaway Cove in Ocean City is safe after two test dummies fell off the ride during a routine safety inspection. https://t.co/tbxITC0iVJ— 1200 WOAI (@1200WOAI) May 1, 2019
The GaleForce roller coaster was undergoing a routine safety check when two water-filled dummies fell off the ride and plummeted into the Ebb Tide Suites next door, damaging shingles and plywood.https://t.co/hUdWRoxgtI— NBCWashington (@nbcwashington) April 30, 2019
“Obviously it’s not something that would ever happen with a person in it,” he said. “The lap bar comes down. You’re secured in there.”
Hartley said nothing failed on the ride itself and that the coaster undergoes two hours of testing every day in its operation.
"Safety is our top priority," he told the news station. "It's something we do every single day. We're checking the rides in and out."
He said they’re going to do a better job of making sure the dummy test riders are in tip-top shape.
Two dummies leaked and shrunk before flying off the GaleForce. Castaway Cove's VP said they're looking into using more durable dummies. https://t.co/AjXLoco3ao— Jersey City Patch (@JerseyCityPatch) April 30, 2019
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Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@ajc.com