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Urgent Warning Issued On ""Zipper"" Amusement Park Ride

Release Date: September 07, 1977

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) today issued an urgent warning advising consumers to avoid riding on the ""Zipper"" amusement ride. Four deaths and two serious injuries have resulted when the door of the ""Zipper"" car opened in mid-air causing the victims to fall to the ground. The Commission has authorized its staff to file a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeking an injunction to prohibit further use of these rides until they are fixed. State and local authorities as well as the owner operators of these rides have been notified by the Commission as to the extreme danger these rides present to the public.

From 1968 to the present, 93 "Zipper" rides were manufactured and sold by Chance Manufacturing Company, Inc., Wichita, Kansas. There are known to be 80 of these rides In use in the U.S. and Puerto Rico with over half of these as traveling units that are installed at fairs and carnivals. The remaining thirteen rides are outside the country. It is estimated that 1,000 persons per day ride each "Zipper" during the summer carnival season.

The "Zipper" consists of a boom with twelve cars attached. Each car can seat two adults or three children. While the boom rotates all twelve cars simultaneously, each car individually rotates. The doors of the cars are hinged on one side. The lap bars are attached to the doors. When the doors are closed the padded lap bar comes down across the laps of the riders. When the doors are opened, the lap bar swings away from the rider eliminating any protective barrier and making it possible for the rider to fall out of the car.

The Commission staff is evaluating the possibility of an engineering "fix" to ensure that the car doors will not open while the ride is in motion. The information contained in this press release is available to consumers who phone the Commission's toll-free Hotline at 800/638-2772.




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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risk of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product-related incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of injuries associated with consumer products over the past 50 years. 

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