NJ roller coaster launches test dummies into hotel; park official deems ride safe

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OCEAN CITY, N.J. — The amusement park says riders are in no danger, but that wasn’t the case for two defective test dummies after they were launched into a hotel last month, WCAU reports.

On April 20, Playland’s Castaway Cove in New Jersey conducted a routine safety check on the GaleForce roller coaster.

The test, however, ended with two water-filled dummies careening into the roof of the Ebb Tide Suites.

The crash damaged the nearby hotel’s shingles and plywood.

Brian Hartley, park vice president, said that won’t happen to human riders and attributed the accident to dummy defects.

“The lap bar did not fail,” he told WCAU. “Nothing failed on the ride at all.”

Hartley said the test team didn’t detect leaks in the test dummies. Those defects caused the pair to lose mass and shape on the ride, leading the unexpected airtime.

“Obviously it’s not something that would ever happen with a person in it,” Hartley said. “You know you don’t lose rigidity in a person. The lap bar comes down. You’re secured in there.”

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