(CNN) — A roller coaster in Japan capable of hitting speeds of up to 112 miles per hour is being shut down indefinitely pending an investigation into whether injuries sustained by passengers were linked to the ride.

A press statement released by the park on August 20 states that the roller coaster will be closed “due to a safety overhaul.”

The statement says that four passengers have reported being injured on the ride between December 2020 and August 2021 and adds that “currently, the causal relationship between injuries and amusement machines has not yet been confirmed.”

According to the regional government in Yamanshi prefecture — where Fuji-Q is located — the four incidents were among men and women in the 30-50 age range. All had significant injuries, including a cervical fracture and a thoracic spine fracture, the latter of which can require up to three months in the hospital.

A representative for the park would not comment specifically on the allegations of bone-breaking injuries and simply told a CNN reporter that “accidents were reported by passengers.”

Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, theme parks across Japan have been open since June 2020. At the time, a directive urged roller coaster riders to “scream in their hearts” rather than out loud in order to reduce the risk of virus transmission.

Fuji-Q Highland was among the parks to take significant measures in limiting its visitors. The park, which is located at the foot of Mount Fuji, only reopened its outdoor attractions, which included roller coasters.

Sansei Technologies, the Osaka-based manufacturing firm that built the roller coaster, issued a similar statement.

“The causal relationship between the injuries of passengers and the amusement machine produced by our group company is not confirmed and we have to wait for the investigation by Yamanashi Prefecture and (the) Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism,” it read.

“We would like to offer our heartfelt sympathy and apologize for the inconvenience we caused to the related parties.”

Dodonpa is a genre of Japanese music that was popular in the 1960s and 1970s, although it’s not clear if that’s how the roller coaster got its name.

According to Fuji-Q, the coaster has 1,244 meters (4,080 feet) of track, with the top of its loop clocking in at 49 meters (161 feet) above the ground. There is currently no reopening date for the Dodon-pa roller coaster.

Top image: A file photo of the Dodon-pa roller coaster taken in 2001 at Japan’s Fuji-Q Highland amusement park. Credit: Yamaguchi Haruyoshi/Corbis/Getty Images

CNN’s Maggie Hiufu Wong contributed reporting.

Zagar Cooper had a rushing touchdown, a passing touchdown and a field goal for Lamar, but the Raiders dropped their season opener to Heritage Academy 42-16 in Friday night prep football action.

Cooper kicked a field goal and had a rushing touchdown in the first half for the Raiders, and he also hit Davis McBrayer for a long touchdown pass with 7:23 to go in the third quarter. Heritage Academy, though, scored 14 unanswered points after McBrayer’s touchdown to win comfortably. 

The Raiders (0-1) will travel to Starkville Academy next week.


John Benny Jones was a wrecking ball on offense and defense as the Warriors shut out Tuscaloosa Christian at home Friday to open their season.

Jones finished with 70 yards rushing and two touchdowns and 63 receiving yards, and he also led the Russell Christian Academy defense with 16 tackles, one blocked punt and one fumble recovery.

Micah Taylor had 105 yards and one touchdown passing at quarterback for RCA. Defensively, Duke Moore tallied two sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and four tackles for the Warriors. Kameron Darden finished with eight tackles for RCA.

The Warriors improved to 1-0 on the season.

New Zealand has paused quarantine-free travel with New South Wales and Victoria effectively shut its border to large parts of Sydney after NSW recorded 10 new locally acquired cases of coronavirus.

NSW Health subsequently said a confirmed case had flown from Sydney to Wellington on the night of Friday 18 June and from Wellington to Sydney on Monday morning.

“Passengers who flew on the flights at the times listed are considered close contacts and must immediately call NSW Health … get tested and isolate for 14 days, regardless of the result,” the department said in a statement on Tuesday night.

The spike in local cases had earlier prompted the NSW government to extend the indoor mask mandate across greater Sydney in an attempt to curb the Bondi outbreak.

Masks will be required to be worn on public transport and indoors in Sydney for another week until midnight 30 June.

There are now 21 cases linked to the Bondi cluster, with all but two of the new cases already in isolation. Six are household contacts of previous cases.

The NSW premier, Gladys Berejiklian, said it wasn’t a surprise to see more cases emerge, and that she was expecting more household contacts to test positive in the coming days.

“The virus is not like other strains where it is less contagious.

“We expected, given how absolutely contagious the virus is, we expected that household contacts already in isolation were likely to get the virus.

“A very fleeting exchange or a very fleeting coexistence has actually allowed the virus to transfer and highlights how contagious it is.”

Authorities are most concerned about two cases not already in isolation: a school student at St Charles’ Catholic primary school in Waverley and a woman in her 20s who works at Bondi Junction Westfield.

The chief health officer, Kerry Chant, said the student’s test results only came in earlier on Tuesday, and the school was working with health officials to develop a plan for the children to go home.

“Please, parents, I know there may be a level of concern, the school and public health officials will communicate with you a safe plan for the students to go home and testing arrangements which are critical for us to understand the situation.

“We want to provide advice and a mechanism to get tested because we want to find out how this child was exposed and establish that because cases where we don’t understand the acquisition means we have mystery cases.

“And in this case, we don’t have preliminary information [on] a source for this child’s exposure so we are looking for an intermediate source.”

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Chant said the other case of concern, the woman in her 20s, was likely exposed through “fleeting” contact with an infectious person.

Chant urged anyone who had been at Bondi Junction Westfield, including the car parks, at any time between 12 and 18 June, to get tested.

“We are casting the

The Marcellus softball team shut out Central Valley Academy 6-0 on Monday to advance in the Class B sectional playoffs. Aubrey Fraher tossed a one-hitter and stuck out nine to lead the No. 2 seed Mustangs (15-2) to the quarterfinal round.

Samantha Wynne delivered at the plate by driving in two runs in the win. Marcellus will next host Mount Markham, 5 p.m. today in the quarterfinals.

Class B

Camden 9, Cazenovia 1

Ryleigh Johnson scattered five hits and struck out five to help the Blue Devils advance to the next round.

Brooke Musch and Camryn Shenk drove in two runs each for No. 3 seed Camden (16-2). The Blue Devils will host No. 6 Westhill at 5 p.m. today.

Oneida 6, Skaneateles 5

Olivia Friend and Kaylin Curro delivered at the place to lead the Indians to victory.

Friend went 3-for-3 with a double and drove in three runs while Curro was 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs.

No. 4 Oneida will host. No 12 Jordan-Elbridge, 5 p.m. today.

Jordan-Elbridge 2, South Jefferson 1

Abigail Ahern and Heather Sorts each drove in a run as the No. 12 Eagles upset No 5 South Jefferson to advance to the quarterfinals.

Alexis Delfavero pitched in the win, allowing just three hits and striking out 10 for the Eagles (10-6)

General Brown 7, Canastota 3

Ashlee Ward drove in two runs to help the Lions to victory.

No. 8 General Brown will travel to No.1 seed Holland Patent, today at 5 p.m. The Golden Knights easily advanced with a 16-1 win over Little Falls.

Class A

Christian Brothers Academy 18, Fulton 9

Kenzie Witz (four RBIs), Katelyn Courcy (five runs scored), and Avery Bowman (3-for-4, two runs, four RBIs) led a big offensive showing for the Lady Brothers. No. 8 CBA will take on No. 1 Jamesville-DeWitt in the Class A sectional quarterfinals.

Central Square 5, Indian River 1

Rylee Broadwell struck out 12 and allowed only one unearned run on four hits, one walk and 12 strikeouts to lead the sixth-seeded Red Hawks past the 11th-seeded Warriors.

Lauren Scheuer went 2-for-4 with a double and three runs scored and Emerson Widowski was 2-for-3 with a double, one run scored and two RBIs in the win. Central Square will play No. 3 Auburn in the quarterfinals.

Class C

Thousand Islands 1, West Canada Valley 0 (8 innings)

In an extra-inning thriller, the Vikings outlasted West Canada Valley thanks to Ali Swenzon’s game-winning knock that drove in Delaney Wiley for the only run of the contest. Wiley pitched all eight innings for Thousand Islands and allowed only one hit and one walk while striking out 13.

West Canada Valley’s Hanna Burdick pitched eight innings and allowed one run on three hits, no walks and struck out 14. The second-seeded Vikings will play No. 7 Port Byron in the Class C sectional quarterfinals.


Class AA Sectional Seedings

Class A Sectional Seedings

Class B Sectional Seedings

Class C Sectional Seedings

Class D

New Delhi (CNN) — Maldives has banned tourists from South Asia, cutting off an escape route for wealthy Indians fleeing their own country’s Covid-19 crisis.
The atoll nation’s Ministry of Tourism and immigration authority announced the temporary ban on Tuesday, which applies to all visa holders from India, Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, as well as people who have transited those countries in the past 14 days.

The ban, effective Thursday, will be in place until further notice as Maldives tries to control a surge in coronavirus cases, which jumped from around 100 new cases in mid-April to 1,572 on Wednesday.

That’s the highest number of daily new cases in the country since the start of the pandemic, according to the Health Protection Agency. And it comes amid a rise in new cases across the region, particularly in India, where a second wave is killing thousands of people every day.

Maldives was one of the first countries to fully reopen to tourists last year, and in recent weeks it has become a popular refuge for wealthy Indians, including Bollywood stars, whose luxury vacation snaps provoked anger at home.

The travel ban doesn’t apply to people already in the archipelago, but it will frustrate the plans of those who had hoped of a potential escape to Maldives.

A medical worker swabs a man for a Covid-19 test in Male in June, 2020.

A medical worker swabs a man for a Covid-19 test in Male in June, 2020.

Ahmed Shurau/AFP/Getty Images

Bollywood blowback

As India sank deeper into a Covid-19 crisis that began in mid-March, a number of Bollywood entertainers reportedly left the country.

They were not alone. This year, India has become the largest source of tourists to Maldives. From January to March, almost 70,000 Indians visited the country — double the number of Indian holidaymakers who traveled to the islands in the whole of 2020, according to the Ministry of Tourism.

The cost of flying to Maldives from India rose sharply in April, as countries began to impose travel bans to and from India. Commercial flight prices rose more than fourfold as international restrictions limited travel options, said Rajan Mehra, CEO of Club One Air, an air charter company based in India.

Some individuals paid more than $65,000 for a one-way ticket for a charter flight to Maldives in April, Mehra added.

In the early weeks of April, several Bollywood stars posted sunny beach photos and vacation shots on social media — angering the Indian public and film industry figures who accused them of flaunting their wealth at a difficult time for many poorer Indians.

“These entertainment celebrities (are) posting vacation pictures at a time when the world is reeling under the worst recession,” said Bollywood actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui, according to CNN-News18. “People don’t have food and you are wasting money.”
Even celebrities who didn’t fly to Maldives faced blowback for not doing more to help curb the spread of Covid-19. Critics argued the stars’ massive social media base could be used to amplify calls for help or to coordinate efforts

HERKIMER – Playing their second game in five nights, the Herkimer Magicians shut out the much more rested Central Valley Academy Thunder in Tuesday’s 20-0 victory.

“We did what we needed to do on offense and the defense played outstanding tonight,” Herkimer coach Jason Alexander said.

Quarterback Jordan Foote threw for one Herkimer touchdown and returned an interception for another on defense in the first half. Senior classmate Braden Alexander ran for touchdown early in the fourth quarter after setting it up with a long punt return on the previous play.

Foote threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Annutto at the end of the Magicians’ first drive late in the first quarter. The kick by Jacob Huyck put Herkimer (2-1) up 7-0.

A short punt gave Central Valley Academy (0-3) possession on the Herkimer side of midfield late in the first half but after throwing one pass incomplete, Brady Johnson had his second intercepted by Foote who stepped in front of intended receiver Cole Brewer, caught the ball and raced 78 yards along the left sideline for the defensive touchdown, the second in as many games for the Herkimer secondary.

Herkimer Magician Jordan Foote intercepts a Central Valley Academy pass during the second quarter of Tuesday's game. Foote returned the interception for a touchdown.

Annutto had returned an interception for a touchdown in Friday’s game against West Canada Valley.

The third quarter ended with a sack that left Central Valley Academy facing a fourth-and-15 play. The Thunder punted to start the fourth and Braden Alexander caught Brewer’s near the middle of the field and broke loose along the home sideline before being tackled by Mitchell Arndt at Central Valley Academy’s 9-yard line. The Magicians handed the ball to Alexander on the next play and he ran for his touchdown.

Brewer Picked the ball up after the subsequent kickoff rolled dead near the sideline and ran it back 67 yards to set the Thunder up at the Herkimer 21, Central Valley Academy’s best field position. A personal foul led to a first down at the 9 before the Thunder fumbled a pitch and Brendon Scanlon recovered for the Magicians.

Herkimer plays one more game in its Fall II season; the Magicians travel to Dolgeville Sunday. Central Valley Academy plays its finale at home Sunday against Little Falls.

Central Valley Academy receiver Cole Brewer runs with the ball while Herkimer Magician makes a diving tackling attempt during the first half of Tuesday's game.


Central Valley Academy;0;0;0;0 – 0

Herkimer;7;7;0;6 – 20

First Quarter

HERK – Kyle Annutto 13 pass from Jordan Foote (Jacob Huyck kick), 1:49.

Second Quarter

HERK – Foote 78 interception return (Huyck kick), :40.6.

Fourth Quarter

HERK – Braden Alexander 9 run (kick failed), 11:39.

Records – Central Valley Academy 0-3; Herkimer 2-1.

Jon Rathbun is a sportswriter for the Times Telegram. For unlimited access to his stories, please subscribe or activate your digital account today. Email Jon at [email protected].