Most of the rides in the vertical fall amusement park are designed with shoulder restraints, but the Haunted Mine Drop facility in Glenwood Caverns does not, where a 6-year-old girl died on Sunday.
According to a TV interview with its designer when it opened in 2017, the reason was to make it more exciting and “a little scarier.”
Cycling designer Stan Checketts of Providence, Utah did not respond to the Denver Post on Tuesday, but told Fox31 in 2017 that although most others-including those of his own design-have shoulder straps, they should ride The row is deliberately designed and has no shoulder straps.
Checketts founded and subsequently sold S&S Sansei, one of the world’s largest amusement equipment design and manufacturers. The company’s sales and marketing director Josh Hays said that the company has about 150 tower slides internationally — the latest in China — and none of them have no shoulder straps. Checketts played an important role in the company’s tower design, including one of the first designs for Universal Studios Orlando.
But Hayes said that the Haunted Mine Drop designed by Checketts after the sale and leaving S&S used a different design and was built by his company, Soaring Eagle Zipline. On the one hand, this is a free fall journey, and the S&S tower’s fall is driven by pneumatic devices. On the other hand, it has no shoulder straps.
“All of our towers have shoulder restraints,” Hayes said. “In terms of safety, when our design is very effective, we don’t want to reinvent the wheel.”
Hayes said that if any of the safety features of modern amusement devices are not installed properly, they will not operate.
He said: “All of our rides are electronically monitored to see if the restraints are improperly tightened.” “There are layoffs. If all the restrictions are not checked and verified by manual and electronic means, the rides cannot be dispatched.”
There was no immediate response to news from Feiying’s office on Tuesday.
On Tuesday night, the Garfield County Coroner’s Office said in a statement that it does not intend to publish the child’s name, saying it is a balance between public disclosure of information and family privacy.
The press release also said that forensic pathologists found multiple blunt injuries during the autopsy, and the cause and manner of death have yet to be investigated.
Authorities said the girl was from Colorado Springs and was going to Glenwood Springs on vacation with her family. They said that the park staff immediately tried to resuscitate the girl until emergency rescuers arrived at about 7:45 pm shortly after the incident and she was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to a 911 recording released by the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday, an emergency service dispatcher stated that the girl fell 110 feet during the ride and was lying at the bottom of the shaft.
According to a promotional video of Coaster Studios interviewing park employees in May 2019, Haunted Mine Drop rides only use safety belts and no safety poles. The video shows that the seat belt system relies on a metal rod to be fixed to the rider’s knee.
The rider sits facing forward, raises their arms and legs in the direction of the operator, then releases the six platforms and passes through a tunnel like a mine. The ride takes about 2.5 seconds and the descent is 110 feet.
According to the video, the counterweight and braking system are used to slow down the driving speed when approaching the bottom.
Manufacturers of amusement equipment around the world must comply with safety standards. In the United States, it is ASTM International, Hays said.
According to its website, all crane towers designed by RES in Switzerland are equipped with “individual knee armrests…compared to shoulder restraints, which provide riders with more freedom.” The height limit of the rides is set to 41 inches.
According to the park’s website, the height of the Haunted Mine Drop is limited to 46 inches. According to various amusement park websites, the height limits of other vertical drop rides across the country vary, ranging from as low as 37 inches to as high as 51 inches, depending on the length of the drop.
The Tower of Doom at Ellich Gardens in Denver dropped the rider 200 feet at a speed of 60 mph. The minimum height of the rider is 48 inches.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a typical 6-year-old woman is about 42 to 49 inches tall.
“The challenge here is not knowing the force exerted on the rider,” Hayes said. “Six years old is also a difficult age because some people are really tall or short. Ideally, the rider limit is based on height, which is how we designed it.”
State officials who manage the amusement park rides are expected to begin an investigation on Tuesday. It is not clear whether Glenwood Caverns Amusement Park has had any accident reports since 2017, but accident data collected by the non-profit organization Saferparks shows that an accident occurred in Glenwood Springs in August 2011.
Although the specific park has not been determined, it shows that the brakes of the mountain coaster were not properly applied, and the vehicle in which a 57-year-old woman was riding collided with the vehicle in front. According to the database, the woman had a broken back.
According to data from RidesDatabase.org, between 1999 and 2017, Colorado only reported 13 rides injuries, of which 2 were fatal.
According to the regulations of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, Colorado rides must be inspected once a year before allowing the public to ride. The park hired an inspector from the approved list of 47 people provided by the agency. According to the agency’s website, there are 171 facilities in the state that are licensed for amusement rides.
A CDLE spokeswoman said that since the last opening in June this year, the amusement facility has been inspected.
Inspection records released on Tuesday show that since 2019, all rides in the park, including Haunted Mine Drop, have been inspected by the Global Security Team in Plant City, Florida, every year.
Inspector CW Craven told the Washington Post on Tuesday that although he was “with the little girl’s family,” he did not comment and instead referred the issue to Glenwood Cavern. The park, which was closed after the girl’s death, will reopen on Saturday.
CDLE stated that investigators will review Craven’s inspection work during the investigation.
Spokesperson Cher Roybal Haavind said in a statement: “We will pay close attention to the observation results of certified third-party inspectors, as well as the observation results and records of previous safety inspections, to check the current status of the ride.” “We will also review. Interview with all relevant parties to determine what happened to the best of our knowledge.”
She said the investigation may take “days or even weeks” and a report will be issued.
Hayes said that accident investigations usually focus on the root cause.
“Is there a design flaw, or does the park use approved components or third parties?” Hayes said. “Do they perform regular maintenance and operate in accordance with the operating manual?”
Then there is the human factor, he said, noting that many rides are run by young people.
He said: “You must make the loading and unloading process simple and easy to understand, so that you can be sure that young people who follow the instructions can safely load passengers.”