Monday, April 14, 2008
The AP reports that the maintenance staff at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom failed in several potentially material ways to properly maintain the cables on the drop ride that later severed a girl's feet. The revelation came in the deposition of the head of the maintenance staff:
John Schmidt, the park's ride-maintenance manager since 1999, said in a deposition in November that technicians for the theme park never performed a hands-on inspection before the accident on any of the 10 cables on the Superman Tower of Power ride.
Schmidt, 56, also said that park technicians did not lubricate the cables monthly, and that they applied cornstarch to reduce "cable slippage" from over-lubrication that they believed was coming from the ride's machinery.
It appears that the park also did not do at least one part of the recommended maintenance, using a rag to check for snags:
Schmidt said in his deposition that workers conducted twice-weekly visual inspections, "It was never brought to my attention to check those cables with a rag for snags."
The copy of the manual I have doesn't note the rag method.