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Japan’s Fuji-Q Highland to retire rollercoaster Do-Dodonpa after guest injuries

Japan’s Fuji-Q Highland to retire rollercoaster Do-Dodonpa after guest injuries
March 15, 2024

Fuji-Q Highland, an amusement park in Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi, Japan, owned and operated by the Fuji Kyuko Co. has announced the retirement of its Do-Dodonpa rollercoaster after a number of guest injuries.

Do-Dodonpa was a popular attraction that claimed to be the “world’s fastest accelerating” rollercoaster. While most rollercoasters ascend to a high position and then drop downward, accelerated by gravity, the rollercoaster cars in Do-Dodonpa are propelled mechanically to reach their speed of 180 kph in just 1.56 seconds.

Since its opening in December 2001, it had been enjoyed by 9.3 million people. However, the ride has been out of service since August 2021 due to Fuji-Q Highland Co. having received multiple injury reports from riders between 2020 and 2021. Six of these cases involved serious injuries, including cervical spine compression fractures.

Transport ministry officials launched an investigation into the Do-Dodonpa roller coaster at Fuji-Q Highland in August 2021, following these injury reports.

The rapid acceleration is believed to be the primary cause of the injuries, the sudden strain on the body mimicking whiplash experienced in car accidents.

Fuji-Q Highland Co. released a statement this week noting “After repeated discussions with the manufacturer, we concluded that there’s no concrete way to completely eliminate the risks of injury, the roller coaster running backward, or stopping in mid-ride.”

The company apologised for disappointing the many customers who had requested the ride’s return.

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