Fact Check

Do-Dodonpa Roller Coaster Closed After Broken Bones Reported

The governor of the prefecture where the park is located expressed anger that the injuries weren't reported sooner.

Published Aug 29, 2021

 (Dick Thomas Johnson, Flickr creative commons)
Image Via Dick Thomas Johnson, Flickr creative commons
The Do-Dodonpa roller coaster at a theme park in Japan was closed pending investigation after four riders reported broken neck, back, and chest bones.

A roller coaster in Japan known for its speed and acceleration was shut down in August 2021 after several riders reported broken bones.

The coaster, Do-Dodonpa, at the Fuji-Q Highland theme park located in Japan's Yamanashi Prefecture, was shuttered on Aug. 12, 2021, pending an inspection by the park and government, according to a statement posted by the park. Four people who rode the coaster between December 2020 and August 2021 reported serious injuries.

"Currently, the causal relationship between injuries and amusement machines has not yet been confirmed," the park statement read.

Officials from Yamanashi Prefecture, which is about 75 miles southwest of Tokyo said in a news conference that the four injured riders ranged in age from their 30s to 50s and suffered fractured neck, chest, and back bones, according to the Japanese newspaper The Asahi Shimbun.

In the news conference, Yamanashi Gov. Kotaro Nagasaki expressed anger that the injuries weren't reported to the prefectural government sooner. 

The ride opened in 2001 but underwent a major renovation in 2017. One of the fastest coasters in the world, the ride's cars are mechanically propelled to accelerate to about 111 mph in approximately 1.56 seconds, according to the Shimbun.

The ride's acceleration and speed can be seen from a first-person point of view in a video uploaded to YouTube in 2018 by Theme Park Reviews here:


“4 Riders on Roller Coaster by Mt. Fuji Break Bones over 8 Months | The Asahi Shimbun, https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14424764. Accessed 27 Aug. 2021.

May, Tiffany, and Makiko Inoue. “A Roller Coaster in Japan Shuts Down After Riders Report Broken Bones.” The New York Times, 25 Aug. 2021. NYTimes.com, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/25/world/asia/japan-rollercoaster-broken-bones-injuries.html.

"Suspension of operations due to the implementation of a comprehensive safety inspection of Dodonpa (translated from Japanese). https://www.fujiq.jp/en/news/h5f6de000002iuuw.html. Accessed 27 Aug. 2021.

Bethania Palma is a journalist from the Los Angeles area who started her career as a daily newspaper reporter and has covered everything from crime to government to national politics. She has written for ... read more

Article Tags

Read More

a Member

Your membership is the foundation of our sustainability and resilience.


Ad-Free Browsing on Snopes.com
Members-Only Newsletter
Cancel Anytime