Stampede rides safer since 2010 midway accident

The company that operates the Calgary Stampede midway claims safety measures have improved since a malfunction caused an accident in 2010.

Malfunction that injured 10 riders led to new rules for inspecting amusement park rides

Three years since a malfunction on a ride at the Calgary Stampede sent several riders plummeting 10 metres to the ground, the company that operates the midway says safety measures have been improved.

An accident on the Stampede midway in 2010 resulted in tighter ride safety rules. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

The accident happened in 2010 when one of the pods on a ride known as the Scorpion became detached. Ten riders were injured.

The incident prompted the province to tighten safety rules for amusement park rides.

Owners are now required to keep inspection reports on site from all jurisdictions a ride has operated in during the past five years.

Companies also have to complete an Alberta safety codes checklist for each ride.

North American Midway Entertainment (NAME), which operates the Stampede’s midway rides, hired an independent consultant to do third-party inspections and ensure records are kept for all amusement rides, officials said in 2011.

NAME spokesman Tony Diaz said all the rides on the Stampede midway are checked throughout the day.

"There's gears up above that beautiful scenery that our customers don't see that our staff climbs up there every day," he said.

"There's lots of things that need to be checked on that device, and it is a great device, and it is a safe device, but it's a device. And there's specific things that we need to target each day to take a look at."  

Diaz said the inspection process includes specialized technicians but also the ride operators, who are in a position to notice anything out of the ordinary.