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Icon Park - Drop Tower Accident 24/03/2022

Coasterfreck

Mega Poster
Tragic news coming out of Orlando this morning. Thoughts and prayers to the family.

Source: Authorities said a 14-year-old boy fell off the Orlando Free Fall ride at ICON Park. He later died from his injuries, March 24, 2022.

Several law enforcement officers, firefighters, and paramedics responded to ICON Park late Thursday evening after a 911 caller reported the incident at the popular tourist attraction on International Drive.

Witnesses on the scene told deputies that someone had fallen off the Orlando Free Fall ride. The Orange County Sheriff's Office later confirmed that a 14-year-old boy was transported to the hospital, where he died from his injuries.
 

CanobieFan

Giga Poster
Absolutely shocking.

And the fact that there are multiple videos of it happening, I won't be watching. Awful.

I've done the tower like 5 times so far and it's basically my favorite thing, drive past it going to and from work daily, and now I just drove past it leaving a friend's house after seeing this story online 😐
 

FistedColossus

Hyper Poster
Unbelievable. Don't want to jump to conclusions but a 14 year old should be well over the minimum height requirement. Perhaps the restraint was not tight enough.

We complain about being stapled into rides but this is why certain places insist on it.
 

Jackson

Mega Poster
Just saw a photo of the restraint before the gondola went up. Holy hell that's up way too high. I'm not sure if I should post it here as it's from one of the videos, but what on earth were the ride ops thinking?! Or the ride manufacturer itself, if the ride said it was okay. It's at a 70 degree OR LESS angle!
 

Furiustobaco

Mega Poster
No smoke without fire. Horrible incident, this park i think needs some serious work.. This ride has only been open for months, and the worker back in 2020 dying as well..
 

Nicky Borrill

Strata Poster
Just saw a photo of the restraint before the gondola went up. Holy hell that's up way too high. I'm not sure if I should post it here as it's from one of the videos, but what on earth were the ride ops thinking?! Or the ride manufacturer itself, if the ride said it was okay. It's at a 70 degree OR LESS angle!
I feel bad saying this, but even as a big lad myself, I did think the young man looked quite large. Like you I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but having seen the video, it certainly seems like either an unlocked restraint, or a restraint force open upon braking.
 
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davidm

Strata Poster
I've seen the restraint pics ; I don't think ('cos I'm such an expert) its a case of the restraint coming open at all, just that it did not restrain him properly and he "fell out" - just like the New Texas Giant incident ; large person, ride-ops not stopping them, big gap in the restraint, G-forces => :(

Horrible.
 

JoshC.

Strata Poster
I think it should be said mentioned that if a ride operator has been trained to follow a ride's system (eg: look for a green light), then it feels wrong to pin blame on a staff member. Obviously people should apply some common sense/ critical analysis, but ultimately, if the ride says the restraint is locked, you should have enough confidence that it is. I'm not saying that is what happened, just throwing a perspective out there.

Regardless, one can only stop and wonder if this could have been avoided if the seats had seatbelts. They primarily serve as a tertiary restraint, but that extra visual check I'd highly important too.

Beyond that, I won't add any more. All those connected to the person will be going through unimaginable grief. But it shouldn't be forgotten that, no matter who or what was at fault, the staff who were working on the ride at the time will almost definitely be feeling pretty awful too.
 

Howie

Donkey in a hat
Absolutely awful.
Like some of others have mentioned, I clicked on the uncut video (which is being freely shared on social media - why is that even allowed to happen?) without knowing what it was and was confronted with... well, you know, awfulness.
There's clearly some major questions that need to be asked about those restraints. When the gondola reaches ground level you can see that it's still in the closed position, which implies to me that he was able to slip out of it, rather than the restraint itself coming loose or undone.
A tragedy for all involved... and I really hope that video gets removed from the internet ASAP.
 

Nicky Borrill

Strata Poster
Absolutely awful.
Like some of others have mentioned, I clicked on the uncut video (which is being freely shared on social media - why is that even allowed to happen?) without knowing what it was and was confronted with... well, you know, awfulness.
There's clearly some major questions that need to be asked about those restraints. When the gondola reaches ground level you can see that it's still in the closed position, which implies to me that he was able to slip out of it, rather than the restraint itself coming loose or undone.
A tragedy for all involved... and I really hope that video gets removed from the internet ASAP.
Sadly I don't think it's getting removed any time soon, it has now been used in articles for main stream media outlets, albeit with blurring or graphic content warnings...

Some UK outlets have even shared a none blurred image of him in the chair before the ride with headlines along the lines of 'seatbelt not fastened.' Despite the fact that the ride doesn't have seatbelts!

I've been at Alton Towers today, so apart from a quick flick through social media this morning had managed to avoid the media storm, been online a couple of hours now and it's absolutely everywhere. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little curious as to how this can happen (does that make me a bad person?) but I feel so bad for all that are involved, at how they must be hurting (as Josh rightfully pointed out) and could potentially come across anything in the public domain (such as here) that I won't be speculating any further, beyond saying that it will not surprise me if both you and david are right.
 

ChristianPalsson

Hyper Poster
Looking at the pre picture. The poor kid does looks to poorly restrained. That gap left between the seat and the restraint is huge and the restraint is at a very open angel. From what I see in the picture, I could probably get him out of that seat by just pulling his legs at the right angle (and he doesn't resist) and the forces of that ride are way larger than what I can exert by pulling. I am certain that I would not be able to get out the riders next to him by simply pulling their legs, they look well secured. Combine that with the ride's tilting and we are set for disaster. I think the ride's tilt is what didn't allow the kid to push his but into the seat by lifting the thighs. Or he simply felt safe and didn't adapt any kind of brace position.

I also sadly saw the incident video. I have never been more thankful that seatbelts exist. Regardless of the cause, if he had a seatbelt between his legs he would still have lived.

Personally, I hate being stapled but I am also paranoid to never leave enough space in my restraints for my legs/upper body to be able to glide out regardless of airtime. I don't want to be stapled but I should also feel stuck in there.

One more thing. I am not at this stage blaming the ride ops. Have no idea who's fault the accident actually was, we will have to see. Regardless, I think ride ops should be trained to deny a lot more pope to ride. They should have a "ride standard body shape" and if someone's body shape differs from that they should be denied even in cases where they would probably be safe. It's sad for some people but it's better to be safe than sorry.
 
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FistedColossus

Hyper Poster
One more thing. I am not at this stage blaming the ride ops. Have no idea who's fault the accident actually was, we will have to see. Regardless, I think ride ops should be trained to deny a lot more pope to ride. They should have a "ride standard body shape" and if someone's body shape differs from that they should be denied even in cases where they would probably be safe. It's sad for some people but it's better to be safe than sorry.
It shouldn't need to come down to that tbf. If the restraint is locked in and the ride is able to dispatch I think it's fair for the ride staff to assume its good to go.

Just a tragic design flaw it seems.
 

Nitefly

Hyper Poster
Jesus - that is terrible. I was supposed to be going on this tomorrow. Just drove passed and wondered why the lights were off.
 

Nicky Borrill

Strata Poster
They should have a "ride standard body shape" and if someone's body shape differs from that they should be denied even in cases where they would probably be safe. It's sad for some people but it's better to be safe than sorry.
Crikey… Way to open a can of worms…

What exactly is a ‘ride standard body shape?’

Since bodies come in all shapes and sizes, which shape should they go with?

Perhaps in this case it would have been better to design the ride purely for larger guests, since 69% of US adults are over weight*. I mean, if they go down that route surely they will go with the majority? Better hope you’re on the larger side huh?

*source: https://www.healthline.com/health/obesity-facts
 
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TPoseOnTantrum

Hyper Poster
Quick heads up, Dollywood has also closed Drop Line until further notice in response to this accident. Drop Line also manufactured by Funtime and they have confirmed this precautionary measure to the media;
 
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