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Verbolten Accident & Testing
By Zachary Posted in Featured on April 21, 2012 0 Comments 9 min read
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One of the pitfalls of being a fansite like this one is that you get hits and misses. When we get rumors, we post them. In this case the basic facts of the rumor seem to be accurate, some type of accident occurred, causing damage to the yellow train and an injury. I will admit that the way the information was framed and the discussion that followed made the details of the damage seem more extensive than they obviously really are. Sources provide their best recollection of the events in what can be a traumatic experience and we relay that information to you.
Our intent is reporting this rumor was not to mislead anyone and certainly not to cast doubt on the safety of the ride as Busch Gardens has an amazing safety record. The intent was to do what the site does, put out information we hear about the park out for the community to discuss. Again, even though it seems that the basic information about the incident was accurate, this was obviously somewhat of a miss on our part since the information we received and disseminated regarding the damage was well off from reality. We don’t ask for credit on the hits, but I’d like to apologize for the miss in relation to damage estimates.
We still stand by the report that an accident did occur and caused damage to the yellow train as well as cause an injury to a worker.
[dropcap2]Original Post[/dropcap2]
Disclaimer: This is a rumor. A rumor with confirmable information to back it up, but a rumor nonetheless. Take it as you will.
This post will be continuously updated with any new information we receive.
From what I’ve been able to gather there was a major accident resulting in one (serious sounding) injury inside Verbolten’s event building today. Apparently a block brake inside the building malfunctioned causing the yellow train to valley sometime on the 19th. On the 20th they brought in winch truck to get the train back up to the first launch so they could re-launch it and continue testing. Anyway, right as the train was about to crest the hill (where the first launch is) the strap snapped causing the train to roll back down the first drop, through the first turn, and collide with the winch truck. This shoved the winch truck into one of Verbolten’s support columns and threw the driver out of the cab some distance across the building. The condition of the winch truck driver is currently unknown. As for the truck, I’ve been told that it took hours for them to finally get it out of the building and it looked like it had literally wrapped itself around the support similar to what you’d see in a car accident where a car hit a light pole. The condition of the support column is currently unknown but if it’s damaged, I see major problems ahead for the coaster. What about the train? Well I’ve heard that the yellow train (the one involved in the indecent) sustained heavy damage as well from colliding with the winch truck. Because the building was evacuated within seconds of the event, it’s hard to know the extent of the damage but if that truck is any indicator, things can’t be good.
Now for the evidence. We have multiple independent sources coming forward confirming that at least something very, very bad happened. I can confirm that from opening to at least 2 pm the yellow train was inside the event building the whole time. Also, testing was planned for around noon today but was then canceled around 1 or so.
If what we’ve heard is true and someone was indeed injured, our thoughts and prayers go out to that person and their family. We wish them all the best.
Do you know something about the incident or can confirm the story above? We’d love more information. You can contact us here.
[dropcap2]Update 1[/dropcap2]
We now have 2 more sources (one of which I personally trust) coming forward to confirm the story. One of them states that it’s only a few of the first cars in the yellow train that sustained heavy damage and that the back of the train is more or less spotless. This person has also been told that the support is probably in pretty bad condition and that thankfully, the driver is now in stable condition. I’ve also been told that the park is worried about the condition of a particular piece of track that may have been involved in the impact.
[dropcap2]Update 2[/dropcap2]
Ok, there seems to be some confusion about where exactly everything was and how the collision happened so I’ll try to explain it a bit better with the new information we’ve received.
The train originally stalled in either the dip in the first turn or the dip right before the first helix. If it was right before the helix, the train was brought back up to the base of the first drop without any problem by the time of the incident. Anyway, the train (at the bottom of the first drop) was rigged up to straps which attached to a cable that ran through a pulley above the first drop and then down to the winch truck which was located right next to the track at the base of the helix. Right as the train was about to crest the hill, the straps that attached the cable to the train snapped and the train rolled down the first drop, through the first turn, and down to the helix where it hit the winch truck throwing the man away from the truck and shoving the truck into a nearby support. At this time it is unclear whether the man was actually in the truck or on the back of the truck operating the winch. Also, early reports say that the support that was hit is in bad shape and will indeed need replacing.
Also, another highly trusted source came forward to confirm the information we’ve posted so far.
[dropcap2]Update 3[/dropcap2]
Finally some good news. They managed to move the yellow train back into the maintenance bay sometime late last night. This is further confirmed by this picture that was posted to our forums by queva1. This means that the train is still movable and hopefully most of the damage is to the seats and the fiberglass body and not the wheel assemblies and whatnot. I have been told that it looks quite bad though.
Also, we now have some additional information on the initial valley. It sounds like there’s a block brake at the end of the first launch that is set to activate if the train doesn’t reach the correct speed of about 40 miles per hour. If the computers senses that this speed wasn’t hit, the computer will activate these blocks and basically force a rollback and relaunch. This is done on Verbolten because, unlike your normal launch coaster, just because the train makes it over the first hill it doesn’t mean that it will make it all the way through to the mid-course brake run relying on gravity alone. Now, it sounds like what happened was that the train hit the right speed on the launch but the blocks at the end engaged anyway slowing the train below the speed that it needed to make it through the rest of the course but not stopping the train entirely. This caused the train to have enough speed to make it over the first hill but not all the way up to the brakes. This is apparently the second time that this same problem has caused a valley. The first time they were able to pull it back up to the launch and relaunch it like they planned to do yesterday. Sadly, it didn’t end the same yesterday as it did the last time.
Lastly, right as I was typing this, @JordanFord posted that workers outside of Verbolten confirmed that a “minor incident” occurred on Verbolten yesterday. Take that however you wish.
[dropcap2]Update 4[/dropcap2]
There are now videos posted on YouTube by @JordanFord showing Verbolten testing. Yes, testing. He is reporting that only the orange and green trains are running right now but it’s better than nothing. If this is the case it is very good news and means the damage is likely limited to the yellow train and whatever (lift/truck) it hit. By the way, the yellow train is still behind closed doors in the maintenance bay and everyone familiar with the occurrence agrees that it defiantly sustained a large amount of cosmetic damage at the very least.


Again, huge thanks to @JordanFord for the testing video!

[dropcap2]Update 5[/dropcap2]
Time for more good news! Though reports differ on the man’s original injuries, everyone seems to agree that the man who was injured in the accident is now in stable condition.
[dropcap2]Update 6[/dropcap2]
Finally, we have hard evidence for the accident on Friday. A member of our forums, lostinacrowd, has posted a picture showing two firetrucks, a county ambulance, and a private Busch Gardens Williamsburg ambulance down at the Verbolten event building on Friday. Lostinacrowd also reports seeing the man who was injured being loaded into the ambulance on a gurney. Note: You must be logged into the forums to see the attachment.
Still digging…

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