Amusement Parks
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Horrifying And Unexpected Ways You Can Die At A Water Park

Updated October 13, 2018 58.0k views10 items

Is there any better way to cool off during the summer than going to a water park with your friends? You can work on your tan, see who can do the biggest cannonball, and chill in the lazy river. That’s great, but do you know all the things that can kill you at a water park? Those places are essentially death traps waiting for you to pay admission. Every year there are multiple water slide deaths, and even though there are life guards on duty, there’s really not much security in place that can keep you from drowning or worse while you’re trying to have a relaxing afternoon with your friends.

There isn’t a summer that goes by without myriad water park deaths taking over your local news station, frightening would-be water slide aficionados from going HAM in the lazy river, and while it might seem like water park deaths are just something cooked up on a slow news day, there are actually a lot of ways to die at a water park. There are the obvious ways of dying, like drowning, or a slide collapsing - but what about killer bacteria? Or explosions? The next time you're waiting for your turn at the top of a water slide, remember these terrible ways to die at a water park - and make sure you keep your floaties on. 

  • Water Slide Collapse

    Photo: loonyhiker / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Water slides, like the Tower of Babel, are an affront to God, and as such they routinely come crashing down, killing or injuring anyone trying to have a fun summer experience and causing untold amounts of property damage. In 2014, a water slide at Eagle Harbor in Fleming Island collapsed after a group of 10-15 Fleming Island High School band members tried going down the slide all at once. Ugh, band kids.

    In this instance no one died, with most of the students making it out of the destruction with a minor series of abrasions.

    If you're going to ride a water slide, make sure you follow the rules or you could end up in a much worse situation than these kids did. 

  • Bacterial Infection

    Photo: Specious Reasons / flickr / CC-BY-NC 2.0

    Even though water parks are religiously cleaned with chemicals that can easily be turned into a poisonous gas, that doesn't mean that bacteria and diseases aren't mutating in order to stay alive in the places you go to have a fun summer party time. In 2016, Lauren Seitz, a young woman on a trip to a North Carolina water park with her church group, became infected with Naegleria fowleri, an amoeba that can cause a rare and deadly brain infection. Seitz died from the infection, and areas of the park that were deemed more likely to host the amoeba were closed for testing. 

  • Fires And Explosions

    It might sound obvious, but one of worst things that can happen in a large group of people is an explosion. Even if no one is harmed in the blast, the panic that such an event inspires can lead to people being trampled, pushed into the blast, and many other terrible things.

    This horrible scenario became true in 2016 when colored powder ignited under a spotlight during a party at a water park in Taiwan, causing a series of explosions. Fifteen people died, 331 were seriously injured, and 135 suffered less severe injuries.

    The party organizer, Lu Chung-chi, essentially coated the party in the powder; spraying it over the party-goers, and handing out packets to them while they got down. When the flames broke out, many people received internal injuries from inhaling the flammable powder. 

  • Ride Malfunction

    One of the biggest concerns when going to an amusement park of any kind is the possibility of a ride malfunctioning and killing everyone. Ride malfunctions rarely happen, but when they do, it's not pretty. At Queensland Australia's Dreamworld, four people died while on the Thunder River Rapids ride. During their ride, a malfunction caused two people to be thrown from the raft while another two were stuck inside the upturned vehicle and dragged along a conveyor belt. 

    Tragically, in 2016, a young child was decapitated on a water ride at Schlitterbahn water park in Kansas City.