In most of the cases amusement parks keep high safety standards as a part of their regular daily operations, but in very rare cases these standards fail. Some of those situations will end up with stopping the ride, some will end up with injuries, but in some cases, unfortunately, people die.
As numerous sources reported, the latest incident in the United States that ended up fatally in amusement park took place in Colorado in September when a six-year-old girl died while she was riding one of the most dangerous attractions the park had to offer.
The fatal incident took place on September 5 on the Haunted Mine Drop ride at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park after she fell 100 feet. The victim was identified as the 5-year-old W. Estifanos.
Right after the incident, the park was closed and all the guests went outside. The investigators decided to close the park for a whole week, until the next weekend, while they were conducting an in-depth investigation to determine what had happened the fatal day.
According to the report that was released few days ago, investigators concluded that the employees did not properly check if she was buckled in and did not understand the operations of the ride.
According to the safety procedure for that specific ride, the amusement park employees should undone all buckles after the end of every ride. Before each ride, workers are supposed to ensure that all buckles are correctly fastened to the riders.
The manager of the park confirmed that in case something is wrong with the belts tied to the riders, an alarm will sound as a safety precaution and workers should double check everything. So how the fatal accident happened?
In the case of Estifanos, employees’ mistake was the reason for the fatal incident. The investigators were able to prove that when Estifanos got on the ride, the buckle to her seat was not undone, and she sat on top of the restraints, according to the report. She pulled the end of the seat buckle used to tighten the restraint over her lap, which made it seem like the buckle was on.
The alarm in this case didn’t take off because the seatbelt was never undone and the system received a signal that everything is right. But what is even more alarming is the fact that the amusement park employee never underwent a proper training and never learned how the whole system actually works.
The operators went around and pushed the rods into seats for riders, including Estifanos, but did not fix her buckle. The alarm was still on, but the operators reset the system and continued with the ride.
As soon as the report was done and presented to the family and the authorities, Estifanos parents said they are about to file a lawsuit against the amusement park since the report proves Estifanos “was killed because of multiple failures by the amusement park and its operators.”
Additionally, the prosecutors are yet to determine if criminal charges should be brought in the case.