HAMAMATSU, Shizuoka -- A passenger on a mini roller coaster at an amusement park in this central Japan city sustained a serious sternal fracture on March 7, the park's operator revealed on March 10.
Entetsu Kanko Kaihatsu Co., which is headquartered in Hamamatsu and operates the Hamanako Palpal amusement park, suspended the ride's operation on March 8, and is probing the cause of the incident. The company has apparently not made a report to police even after learning about the injury.
The operator explained to the Mainichi Shimbun that the passenger apparently suffered a hard blow to the chest from the safety bar cushion when the Jungle Mouse mini roller coaster car stopped at the loading platform after making a trip. The passenger went to the hospital after returning home, and was diagnosed with a sternal fracture that will take four months to completely heal. A family member of the passenger reportedly told the park about the injury on the same day.
Jungle Mouse runs on a 220-meter-long track at a maximum speed of 22 kilometers per hour. An inspection on the morning of March 7 found no anomaly with any of the equipment, and a worker had also confirmed that the passenger was wearing a seat belt and the safety bar was correctly in place.
Hamanako Palpal experienced a spate of trouble in November and December 2021, including another ride making an emergency stop due to an equipment malfunction.
The Hamamatsu Municipal Government's architecture administration division received a report from the operator on March 8 about the accident, as designated by law, and commented, "We have not conducted an on-site survey because it is not classified as a serious accident such as a derailment."
(Japanese original by Keisuke Ota, Hamamatsu Bureau)