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Entertainment, Food & Beverage

Sentosa ride reopens after 8-month closure

MegaZip gets BCA nod with improved safety measures, like new brakes
The Straits Times - May 17, 2012
By: Amelia Tan Hui Fang
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Sentosa ride reopens after 8-month closure MegaZip's flying fox ride propels riders across the beach and tree tops from a 72m height. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SENTOSA'S MegaZip ride resumed operations yesterday, after an eight-month closure following a safety mishap in September last year.

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) lifted its closure order after it said it was satisfied with the ride's new safety measures that include new brakes and greater surveillance by its attendants.

A spokesman for MegaZip Adventure Park said it was pleased that BCA has allowed the ride to reopen.

MegaZip's flying fox ride propels riders across the beach and tree tops from a 72m height.

BCA had shut down the ride last September after an Australian tourist, Mr Michael Joseph McCarthy, 38, fell from the ride and broke his back.

An unknown malfunction on the zipline had caused him to zoom past the end point without slowing down.

That was the first known accident at the park since it opened in 2009. No other rides at MegaZip were affected.

Several safety measures have since been installed.

One of them is that each zipline is now attached to its own independent braking system; previously, all three lines shared a common braking system.

A separate braking system was also installed to stop the trolley - the device that holds the rope as it zips down the line - when it reaches the end of each zip line. If this fails, a secondary brake will kick in.

CCTVs were also put up following the accident to allow ride managers to supervise the ride from their offices.

Attendants at the ride now also carry walkie-talkies to communicate with each other at the site.

And to prevent riders from going down the line prematurely, LED lights that signal when the brakes are reset were put in.

On the receivers' side, manual flags indicate when they are ready for the next incoming rider.

New rotating brakes were put inside each trolley.

These rotating brakes reduce the speed of the patron as he zips down the line.

Further operational and maintenance reports will also be regularly submitted to the BCA.

Student Ian Kong, 22, said he would be keen to give the ride a second chance.

'Even though there was a previous accident, if they can assure us that safety measures are in place, I'd definitely be willing to give it a shot.'

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