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Over the last few days a little news has come out pertaining to Busch Gardens’ two newest rides: Verbolten and Mach Tower. I’ll start with the Mach Tower news because that seems to be the only story that would actually have an affect on someone visiting the park. After that, I’ll go into what we’ve heard and have uncovered regarding the incident that occurred on Verbolten on Saturday. Lastly, before I continue, I should state once again that the stained glass window thing from yesterday (the 1st) was an April Fools joke- the stained glass window is still fully intact.
As I’m sure you all know, it’s not uncommon for Mach Tower to break down and reopen multiple times in a single day so, with that in mind, why are we reporting on it this time? Well this time was a little different. If you read our last post you’ll know that Mach Tower wasn’t opened with the rest of the park on March 17th. Instead, anyone who went to ride the park’s tallest attraction was met by a sight that was oddly reminiscent of what we saw for months back in 2011: A ride attendant stating that Mach Tower is currently closed and that it would reopen “soon“. Additionally, it was also noticed by multiple people that a good fraction of the brakes on the tower had been pulled off over the offseason. After some testing with some questionable results, a forum member who goes by the username bigbrother32 posted that Mach Tower had reopened on the 30th with a longer freefall than was seen in 2011 or 2012 but, soon after opening, closed once again for what I’m assuming was just another Mach Tower hiccup- something that, for anyone who frequents the park, should be no surprise.
Soon after bigbrother32′s original report, another member of our forums, ChickenKing, posted the following video of Mach Tower’s newly extended freefall. Immediately following his video is another off-ride video taken by Shafor from 2011 showing the original drop length.
First off I’d like to make it clear that I didn’t see the outcome of whatever happened on Verbolten on Saturday in person so everything I’m posting is based off the numerous reports we’ve heard from many, many people. Though we don’t really know the severity of the injury or how exactly it was caused, the rest of the story seems to be fairly consistent across everyone I’ve talked to. Anyway, here’s what I’ve managed to gather and piece together:
Sometime on Saturday afternoon Verbolten’s orange train rolled into the station with a man onboard whose face and hands were reportedly covered in blood from an injury to his forehead. As the restraints opened, stunned ride operators tried to keep the man in question seated but, despite the commands of the workers, the guest apparently rushed out of the station into the on-ride photo viewing area where he was met by park security and a park medic. It should also be noted that all the witnesses I’ve spoken with stated that the man was visibly intoxicated and most indicated that he was somewhat oppositional as well. After the incident the orange train was taken off the tracks and Verbolten opened with the remaining four trains around an hour later. As far as I know the orange train has yet to reappear from the maintenance shed but there doesn’t seem to be any reason to believe the train itself was at fault here. We’ll probably never know what exactly caused his injury but it’s probably a good idea to get what we do know out there. Below I’ve included one of the eye witness reports that popped up on our forums. Thanks a ton to Arinelle for sharing what he saw!
I was in line Sat night when this happened. The guest boarded the ride with no visible injuries, was definitely over emphasizing word with arm movements and somewhat loud. Sat in the car by themselves, upon returning to the station blood was all over their face, shirt and hands. Guest then proceeded to hurry out of the station as fast as they could despite operators telling them to stay put as a medic was on their way. The park employees caught up with them where the pics/videos of your ride are available for purchase. The injury was to the forehead and small, not sure if it was a cut or not, couldn’t tell as I walked by. We were ushered back into line after boarding the blue car and the operators then ran the cars for a test run each, and then we were told that the ride was shut down due to housekeeping. I’m not sure what happened, but when the guest boarded I didn’t see any loose articles on them other than a hat. The videos were working earlier in the day just fine, although they were “unavailable” as we walked out (which makes sense). My best guess is that the guest hit their head during the exit from the event building, whether by turning around or leaning to the side… I don’t know.
Multiple sources are now reporting that the orange train is back in use.