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July 19, 1999

Coaster Train Derails Stranding Eighteen Riders

Kansas City, MO -- Two cars on the Orient Express roller coaster derailed Saturday, leaving 18-passengers stranded more than 20 feet above the ground.

The incident occurred at around 9:30 p.m. at the Worlds' Of Fun amusement park in Kansas City.

The two cars that derailed where left dangling above the ground with four passengers on board. The two derailed cars were part of a train of six cars.

Local firefighters were called to the scene to assist in the rescue of the 18 stranded passengers. The rescue took firefighters a little over two hours to complete.

According to witnesses, the rescue crews had to first secure the derailed cars before they could attempt to rescue any of the riders. Rescue crews were then able to use ladders to remove the passengers one by one.

Fortunately, there were few injuries, none of which were life threatening.

A total of eight individuals were transported to local hospitals, where they were treated for minor injuries. Most of the injured were treated and released.

Early news reports claimed that one rider had been thrown from the train and another jumped. Park officials later disputed those reports.

Daniel Keller, vice president and general manager of Worlds' Of Fun defended the ride's safety record.

"The Orient Express has had an excellent safety record." said Keller.

According to reports this is the second accident on the Orient Express, which opened Worlds' Of Fun in 1980. The other accident occurred in 1987 when two trains on the coaster collided.

The Orient Express is a steel coaster which features four inversions and a top speeds of 50 mph.

According to park officials the ride will remain closed until an investigation by an internal and external investigation team is complete. The state and local law enforcement may also conduct their own investigation.