State Watch

ICON Park pushes to suspend 2 rides after death of 14-year-old boy

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Orlando’s ICON Park is pushing to suspend two rides operated by the SlingShot Group after a 14-year-old boy died when he fell off one of the company’s attractions at the Florida park.

In a statement, park officials demanded the company suspend the Orlando FreeFall and the Orlando SlingShot after Tyre Sampson fell off the FreeFall ride last Thursday.

“As the landlord of the 20-acre entertainment destination in the center of the Orlando Entertainment District, ICON Park’s mission is to provide safe, family entertainment,” park authorities said. “We rely on our tenants to be experts at what they do.”

ICON Park said it wanted the rides suspended until regulatory authorities inspected operations and cleared them for safety. The statement did not mention another specific ride operated by the SlingShot Group at the park, according to the StarFlyer.

When contacted by The Hill, a person who said they were a manager for the StarFlyer said the SlingShot Group declined to comment. 

Sampson, of Missouri, was visiting the Orlando amusement park with teammates from his football team. The teen fell from the 430-foot FreeFall ride around 11 p.m. last week, but the ride’s operators said he was strapped via a harness.

The FreeFall was shut down after the tragic accident.

Florida’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said it would determine whether any mistakes were made or safety protocols violated before its reopening. 

The FreeFall ride was new and inspected for the first time in December, according to officials with the state department.

No deficiencies were reported at the time of the inspection, but the owner and operator is responsible for inspecting rides every day and ensuring employees are properly trained, the state’s regulatory department said.

“Words cannot express the sorrow felt by the tragic loss of such a young man,” said the department’s Commissioner Nikki Fried in a Monday statement. “We hope the subsequent findings will be able to inform us all as to how this tragedy occurred and will precipitate any changes necessary to better protect patrons of amusement rides in Florida.”

Tags Florida ICON Park Orlando Slingshot Group Tyre Sampson

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