Amusement Park Tragedy: Train Derails, Child Dead, 28 Injured

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

A disaster scene at an amusement park in South Carolina over the weekend -- a miniature train derailed, leaving one child dead and more than two dozen other people injured.

Children and their parents were enjoying the train ride at Cleveland Park in Spartanburg on Saturday when the tracks suddenly collapsed. That overturned the train, sending everybody flying. Six-year-old Benjamin Easler was killed. 28 others -- mostly children -- were injured.

Saturday was the first day of the operating season for the train. Spartanburg County Councilman David Britt said the train was inspected Wednesday and went on several test runs, and there were no problems.

"It's tragic," Britt said. "It's a terrible nightmare."

According to a report in the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, police are expected to investigate whether someone sabotaged the train or if someone deliberately left something on the tracks.

Jackie Blackwell told the newspaper that her daughter was on the train and that the wheels got "stuck." She added, "All I could hear was screaming, screaming."

Marlene Sellers had just gotten off the train with her granddaughters just before it derailed.

"I never in my life seen such a thing," she said. "I've never seen anything so massive or shocking."

The miniature train reaches a top speed of just ten miles an hour. It has been in operation since 1953 with no major accidents.