It was a tough weekend in the amusement world, especially for this early in the season.

First, in South Carolina, a kiddie train overturned, killing a six-year-old boy and injuring dozens.  Coverage suggests that authorities are evaluating the possibility of sabotage, though it’s not clear to me if that’s based on anything in particular, or just reflecting the fact that they haven’t excluded the possibility yet. Update: The state inspector in South Carolina has been fired, after it was revealed that the train was not actually operational during his inspection.  Additionally, the state has apparently also suspended all other miniature trains in South Carolina. Second update: The fired inspector apparently acknowledged that he indicated on the inspection form that he had, for example, evaluated the speed of the train, but that he had not in fact done so.  I haven’t seen any stories showing any factual nexus between his failure to inspect and the accident, but it’s also very early.

Second, in Houston, a man fell from a HiMiler coaster at the rodeo and died.  The Rodeo’s midway is done by Ray Cammack Shows.  The ride (pictured here) has, if I’m seeing it correctly, a single lap bar restraint.