1NEWS, Do-Dodonpa, the world’s fastest roller coaster, has been temporarily closed after several horrific incidents. Reportedly, in the last nine months, a number of people have suffered spine or neck fractures after riding these rides.
According to Oddity Central, Do-Dodonpa is located in Fuji-Q Highland Park, in Fujiyoshida, Japan. This ride has been in operation since 2001 and offers an adrenaline-pumping experience for the riders. Do-Dodonpa is famous for being able to accelerate from 0 to 180 km per hour in just 1.56 seconds, which makes it the fastest accelerating roller coaster in the world.
Despite his “super death” speed, Do-Dodonpa has never been linked to rider injuries. Until December last year, people started suffering from bone injuries after riding the roller coaster. Six cases have been reported since then, four of which involved spinal or neck fractures.
Do-Dodonpa has such a clean record that in 2017 officials at Fuji-Q Highland Park decided to make roller coaster rides even more exhilarating by increasing the maximum acceleration from 172 km to 180 km per hour.
Read also: 70 Years Old Viral in China Riding Roller Coaster 8 Thousand Times in 4 Years
Following reports of injuries to the riders, in August, Fuji-Q Highland Park decided to suspend the roller coaster and investigate what happened. Sansei Technologies, the company that manufactures the vehicle, apologized to the injured driver, but could not explain what caused the injury.
Naoya Miyasato, an architecture professor from Nihon University who studies roller coaster design, recently told VICE News that bone injuries caused by roller coasters were unheard of until last December, because “roller coaster designs must all comply with government-approved standards.” “
However, he speculates that the bone injury may have something to do with the roller coaster’s rapid acceleration, which at its peak was more than three times the force of gravity and comparable to the G-forces experienced by astronauts during a rocket launch. However, it does not explain why the rider did not sustain the injury before December last year.
The second theory is that the position of the rider in the journey could be the cause of their injury as well. The Do-Dodonpa requires the rider to recline into the seat and wear a shoulder brace, leaving little space between their back and the backrest.
According to the Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun, one of the injured riders admitted that he may have leaned forward during the ride.
“If they don’t detect a serious problem with actual travel, then it could be the way people are sitting. But if someone sits wrong, say with the distance between his back and seat, it is the responsibility of park employees to check their seating position,” said Naoya Miyasato.
No technical issues were found during the initial investigation, but until the investigation is complete, the world’s fastest roller coaster will remain closed.