•  Pinetar
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Tuesday, April 19, 2005 4:49:46 PM
The Yomiuri Shimbun

An employee at a Tokyo amusement park failed to tell a supervisor that a man who wanted to ride an attraction even though he could not fasten the seat belt of the ride--from which he fell and died Monday--was wheelchair-bound, police said.

The supervisor did not ask the part-time employee for details of the man's condition, and said it would be in order for the man to ride the attraction.

The police also discovered that staffers operating rides at Joypolis in Daiba, Minato Ward, Tokyo, used their own manual, rather than the official one provided by Sega Corp., which manages the amusement park.

Company officials said they did not know of the second manual, the police said, which may indicate that important judgments in operating the attraction were left to the staffers running the rides.

Junichi Tsubouchi, 30, from Uchinadamachi, Ishikawa Prefecture, fell about five meters from Viva! Skydiving, which simulates sky diving, and died about 90 minutes later.

People who ride the attraction are, in principle, required to wear a seat belt around their waist and a harness over their shoulders. But Tsubouchi's waist was too big to allow him to fasten the seat belt, however, he was allowed to stay on the ride wearing only the shoulder harness.

According to the police investigation, a helper who accompanied Tsubouchi asked the part-time employee if a man in a wheelchair could ride the attraction.

The employee used his own discretion and said he could, but after seeing the seat belt did not fit, he asked his supervisor if the man could ride the attraction wearing only the shoulder harness.

The part-timer reportedly told the police: "I've heard people had been allowed to stay on the ride without wearing a seat belt. This hadn't resulted in accidents, so I let him ride."

The seats of the ride tilt forward 60 degrees and it moves up and down creating an experience similar to sky diving.

The official manual for the ride prohibits customers from riding the attraction if they are under 140 centimeters, pregnant, or need assistance to walk, but lists no other restrictions.

The unofficial manual says that those who insist on riding the attraction are allowed to do so after a staffer receives approval from a supervisor.

Copyright 2005 The Yomiuri Shimbun

  •  flamo
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Tuesday, April 19, 2005 5:27:59 PM
This could get interesting.
I'm there, Old, Tired, Broke and Henpecked
  •  Sue
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Wednesday, April 20, 2005 4:55:32 AM
Wednesday, April 20, 2005 5:28:55 AM
Anyone know exactly what this ride is or have a pic of it?