Giant slide closed down hours after opening because of major design error
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A huge slide in Detroit has been forced to shut after a matter of hours because of concerns over safety. If you have a look at this video you’ll probably start to get a decent picture of what the problem is:
Of course, no slide is without risk, gravity is no-one’s slave after all, but this slide in particular seems to be carrying the passengers down in a manner more akin to a washing machine than a fun playground attraction.
The historic Giant Slide in Michigan’s Belle Isle Park was closed after only four hours open because the slide was so fast that kids were being chucked right into the air and deposited unceremoniously back down to earth with way too much of a bump.
One eyewitness described how the people headed downwards were getting thrown up into the air with seemingly reckless abandon.
Kenyatta McAdney told ABC13: "What I noticed was the impact they were hitting the ground with coming off the hills.
"If they would have kept riding on that slide, somebody would have got hurt."
That onlooker also stated that he ended up selling his tickets, presumably without telling them the reason why he was getting shut of them.
His child added: "I was going down way faster than I thought I was. Gravity hurts."
A solid lesson to learn, even if it was learned the hard way.
So, in the end the ride was closed so that the wax on it could be retouched.
A statement from Joel Thomas, Belle Isle supervisor for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, read: "Hopefully, after our small adjustment we will be back up and running and the slide will be slower for more enjoyment.
"For this evening, we're giving it a little scrub down, and we will be back open at 11 tomorrow.”
However, once the video showing the ride in action was posted online, most people were aghast that it took them that long to realise that something wasn’t right with it.
One person wrote: "This made me laugh out loud hard.
"Sorry but four hours to notice this was not OK? Omg.”
Another said: "This is one of the best illustrations I’ve seen of why math calculations and engineering is so important.”
Others defended the ride, joking about how the speed is character-building.
One such comedian posted: "The Giant Slide on Belle Isle is the BEST and it’s functioning exactly like it’s supposed to.
“You haven’t had a real 313 childhood unless you bounced down the Slide and got a 3rd degree let burn on a summer’s day."
Luckily, the ride has opened once again and – as far as we know – there have been no problems.