A “death-defying” roller coaster — capable of achieving a speed of 112 mph in 1.56 seconds — is under investigation for potentially causing serious injury to a number of passengers.
The Do-Dodonpa coaster at Fuji-Q Highland, at the foot of Mount Fuji in the Yamanashi prefecture of Japan, is now closed until further notice.
According to a statement obtained by CNN, four riders ages 30 to 50 have reported “bone-breaking” injuries that were sustained while on the ride between December 2020 and August 2021, including cervical and thoracic spine fractures.
“Currently, the causal relationship between injuries and amusement machines has not yet been confirmed,” the park’s statement read.
In an identical message, Sansei Technologies, Do-Dodonpa’s manufacturer, also said the “causal relationship between the injuries of passengers and the amusement machine … is not confirmed.”
Do-Dodonpa — also the name of a popular Japanese music genre of the 1960s and ’70s — stands up to 161-feet in the air at its loop and is assembled of 4,080 feet of track.
Fuji-Q triggered a government investigation when the park failed to submit regulatory reports regarding the injuries within a 30-day time limit set by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, according to the Mainichi. Park officials have maintained that Fuji-Q and Sensei’s own internal investigation determined that one of the victims, a woman in her 30s, was seated improperly, allegedly that she “might have been leaning forward during the ride.”
Similar incidents occurred in May and July 2021, but after finding no issue with their machinery, Do-Dodonpa’s designs and Fuji-Q decided the onus was on the passengers — not the coaster.
With the most recent incident, on Aug. 2, the park finally shut down the ride and reported all four injuries to the prefecture government.
Fuji-Q has a reputation for daring rides. In 2011, the park opened Takabisha, premiering as the steepest coaster in the world with a 138-foot vertical drop that nearly curves backward at a neck-craning 121 degrees.