UPDATE: Victim in rollercoaster death identified
A woman has been killed after falling from The Texas Giant, the tallest steel-hybrid rollercoaster in the world, at Six Flags over Texas in Arlington.
UPDATE 4:04 p.m. - Family members have identified the victim as Rosy Esparza.
Early Saturday, Six Flags spokeswoman Shannon Parker said, "We are working closely with authorities to determine the cause of the accident," in a written statement. She also says that the Bridgit Mendler concert scheduled for Saturday night has been canceled.
At around 6:45 Friday afternoon, witnesses say they watched in disbelief as the woman lifted out of her chair and restraint on one of the ride's 95° turns and fell to a platform below.
Witnesses tell KDFW FOX 4 that as the coaster train pulled back into the station, passengers were crying and screaming because something had obviously gone wrong.
Firefighters had to use a ladder truck to reach the woman who landed on a platform within the rollercoaster frame. A local media report says that park engineers and staff had to stand on the frame itself to point out to firefighters where the woman was located.
A funeral home vehicle arrived shortly after to pick up the body of the woman, who was said to have been riding the coaster with her daughter and son-in-law. The woman's name has yet to be released.
Six Flags over Texas has issued this written statement regarding the incident:
We are deeply saddened to share that earlier this evening an adult woman died in the park while on the Texas Giant. Park medical staff and local paramedics responded immediately. Since the safety of our guests and employees is our number one priority, the ride has been closed pending further investigation. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends during this difficult time.
The area of the park where The Texas Giant is located was evacuated and shutdown, including the Titan.
The Texas giant, originally all-wooden, was built and debuted in 1990. In 2011, it was redesigned to feature steel tracks (but keeping the wooden frame), a record-breaking 153 foot drop and 95° turns, making this the tallest steel-hybrid rollercoaster in the world.
This is not the first incident where a person has died at the park. In 1990, 28-year-old woman died after the raft she was in flipped on the Roaring Rapids ride. And in 2006, 10 people were injured on the Texas Tornado after their swings collided with each other.
The ride will be closed until a full investigation is complete.