Wu Ya-wen (吳雅雯), a 17-year-old nursing student, died after riding a roller coaster on Friday last week, and her family is blaming the amusement park for not administering proper medical care in time.
Wu, from Yilan County, collapsed after 90 seconds on the “Screaming Corridor,” which she rode with an 11-year-old cousin while other family members looked on at Leofoo Water Park in Hsinchu County.
Her cousin alerted workers at the park after realizing Wu was motionless. The workers called on-site medical personnel and an ambulance. Wu died 30 minutes after arriving at the hospital.
Shortly afterward, questions were raised about the first aid provided at the scene.
The park said that its staff followed standard procedures and efforts to resuscitate the girl were “continuous without any pause.”
Wu’s uncle, surnamed Lin (林), said the cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) given to the girl was not done properly because vomit was found in her mouth when she was being rushed to the hospital.
Lin said he knew how to perform CPR, but park staff prevented him from helping his niece, adding that she appeared to want to throw up after being helped off the ride and should have been kept in an upright position instead of being allowed to lie on her back.
Other relatives said that she had been in good health without any serious illness.
An initial examination by a public prosecutor was not able to determine the cause of her death, so an autopsy will be performed.
Leofoo Water Park public affairs manager Wang Yung-hao (王永豪) said that workers at the scene found Wu conscious, but sitting on the ride’s platform accompanied by her cousin. Within a minute, she fainted and her heart stopped beating.
Staff members who are certified first aid providers tried to resuscitate Wu and a nurse took over within minutes, Wang said.
Ten to 20 minutes later, an ambulance left the amusement park carrying the girl to a military hospital a few kilometers away.
The park said it will increase the visibility of warnings about those who should not go on white-knuckle rides, such as individuals with heart disease or hypertension, adding that staff operating the rides will be trained to help identify visitors who probably should not get on such rides.
This is the second incident involving the Swiss-made roller coaster since it started operating 12 years ago. In August 2011, a 21-year-old female college student went into cardiac arrest while on the ride and remains in a coma.
The U-shaped suspension Screaming Corridor is the only one of its kind in Asia. With a track that is only 190m long, the roller coaster reaches speeds of 122kph when it rushes down its biggest drop of 56m.
The 90-second ride incorporates 360o spiral acceleration followed by a vertical drop.