March 23, 1999
Arlington, TX – March 22, 1999 – One killed and ten others were hospitalized Sunday after a boat they were riding in on the Roaring Rapids water ride at Six Flags Over Texas capsized.
The 28-year old women drowned since she supposedly was unable to release her safety belt according to reports. This is the first fatality in the parks 38-year history.
The accident occurred shortly before 5:30 p.m. as the boat approached the end of the river ride nearing the lift hill. It is unknown exactly what caused the accident, but investigators have arrived on-site to try and determine just that.
Both park employees and guests who witnessed the boat being capsized jumped into the river to try and help the victims according to reports.
Ten of the twelve riders were taken to Arlington Memorial Hospital. Seven victims remain hospitalized, two are in serious condition. Two others who were transported to the hospital were treated and released.
Six Flags vice president and general manager, says "I would like to express our heartfelt sympathy for the families. This is a sad day at Six Flags Over Texas."
Immediately following the accident guests in line for the attraction were asked to leave the waiting area and park officials quickly closed off a section of the park.
Six Flags staff immediately began to drain the water out of the attraction. At 10:00 p.m. rescue divers were still present searching to make sure no one else was still trapped in the attraction.
A preliminary investigation by the Arlington Police indicates there was no foul play in the incident. Investigators believe that this incident is more than likely just an accident.
The Roaring Rapids attraction opened at Six Flags Over Texas in 1983. Safety has never been an issue on this attraction according to park officials. Roaring Rapids is expected to remain closed until the completion of the investigation.