The legendary roller coaster Colossus caught fire at Six Flags Magic Mountain in California on Monday, September 8. The incident occurred while the ride was closed for maintenance, and resulted in no injuries.
The blaze was reportedly an accident, caused by welders who were assisting in the ride’s new development into a new and improved super coaster, entitled Twisted Colossus. Construction on the ride began just two weeks ago, with the planned end result boasting to be the largest hybrid coaster in the world. During construction of the top of the ride’s lift hill, the section the welders were working on caught fire, and completely burned through the entirety of the section’s metal and steel, thus damaging the ride’s structure significantly. The amusement park itself was closed on Monday in accordance with the incident. The fire department reportedly arrived at the scene at approximately half past one in the afternoon, and the media was quick to follow. One news station gave a report stating that planks were falling to the ground during the incineration, and that the wood where Colossus’ fire had started was so charred it had become black. Sources close to Six Flags Magic Mountain say that most of the ride is still intact, although there is not yet any word as to if and when the construction will resume.
The recent incident that occurred on Colossus is not the first time a popular amusement park attraction has caught fire. A haunted house attraction entitled Haunted Castle at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey was permanently closed after eight teenagers perished during a fire that occurred in May of 1984. Both the park and its parent company Six Flags were indicted by a grand jury for aggravated manslaughter, based on its determination that the teenagers’ deaths had been caused by recklessness. Employees working at the Six Flags Great Adventure were said to have not taken the appropriate measures necessary to deal with the fire in question.
Prosecutors in the case argued that those in charge of the attraction were repeatedly warned to install appropriate fire safety equipment, such as sprinklers and alarms. The defendants in the case claimed that the fire was started by way of arson, and thus denied any responsibility for the event. They further claimed that the tragedy could not have been prevented regardless of any fire measures being set in place prior to the event. The defendants’ claims were backed up by a 13-year-old boy’s statement that he had been offered guidance through the attraction by one of the deceased teenagers, who he claimed used a lighter to light the way through the darkened haunted house. Upon entering the attraction, the former witness says the older boy bumped into a padded foam wall and caused the wall to ignite, after which they both fled the scene. The defendants in the trial were subsequently found not guilty in the deaths of the eight teenagers.
It remains to be seen what will become of the planned hybrid coaster following the fire that occurred Monday on the Colossus roller coaster. Authorities at Six Flags Magic Mountain have not yet released a statement regarding the ride’s future.
By Rebecca Grace