The most popular ride at a landmark Ocean City amusement park was closed last week as state safety investigators looked into a roller coaster accident that sent three children to local hospitals. Police and firefighters were called to Trimper’s Rides where employees said a cable broke on the Tidal Wave, a double-loop boomerang roller coaster, shortly after the ride began. They said no one fell off the roller coaster.
State and amusement park officials gave differing accounts of how the three children between ages 10 and 15 were injured. A spokesman for the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation said all three were hurt while standing on a platform near the ride. Trimper, however, said one girl was hit with debris while waiting on the entrance ramp platform. He said the other two children were passengers on the roller coaster, shaken around when a safety device kicked in and the ride stopped suddenly.
Paramedics took two children to one local hospital to evaluate potential neck and back injuries and a third to another hospital for a cut, a fire department official said. Brooks Trimper said one child had a small under-eye cut that was “not a deep laceration.” Ocean City fire department spokesman Steve Price says he believes the injured girl was hit with debris from the ride.
The park is open, but the roller coaster is closed until it can be checked by a state ride safety inspector. Officials with Trimper’s Rides said they have also contacted the roller coaster manufacturer for advice on what went wrong. Brooks Trimper said the ride is about 25 years old. It is inspected daily and gets a state inspection each May.