How to kill dummies with a roller coaster

I was reading on about The Swarm, a new roller coaster at Thorpe Park, outside London, that has a bit of a problem. According to the article, they've found that their crash-test dummies sometimes come back missing limbs.

Roller coasters are marvelously engineered machines. Bolliger & Mabillard Consulting Engineers (B&M), the creators of The Swarm, are no amateurs, having built over 70 coasters, including some world record holders.

The Swarm is a $30 million coaster. I had a hard time imagining B&M making the kind of mistake that would cause it to tear up crash-test dummies.

Check out this photo of the purported dummies, and see of you smell the same rat that I do:

To make it easier, check out this photo of the regular testing dummies used on The Swarm:

For B&M, it's no big deal. Their customers know that this is just a bit of theater. It's the “crying wolf” aspect of this that bothers me. Engineers don't often make such boneheaded mistakes.

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