On March 24th, Tyre Sampson, a 14-year-old boy, fell to his death from the Orlando FreeFall ride at Orlando’s Icon Park.
The tower sits 430 feet tall and is billed as the world’s tallest free-standing drop tower. Riders are taken up to the top, tilted so they face the ground for several seconds, and then dropped at speeds up to 75mph.
Sampson was 6 feet, 5 inches tall, and weighed over 300 pounds when he fell from the ride. The harness for Sampson’s seat “was still in a down and locked position when the ride stopped.”
Quest Engineering and Failure Analysis released a report this week that found that the adjustment to the seat that Tyre Sampson fell from prevented safety sensors from shutting the ride down, even though the space between the seat and harness was too wide.
The report also noted that two individuals with similar height and weight as Sampson “were able to slip through the restraint opening without any assistance.” Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried said at a press conference Monday that an operator of the Orlando drop tower made manual adjustments to the ride, resulting in it being unsafe.
Fried did not specify when these changes were made or who specifically made them.
This tragic event has left many questioning whether or not thrill rides are safe. It is important to remember that while accidents like this are rare, they can happen. Always take precautions when riding any type of amusement park ride by following all safety guidelines provided by park staff members.
Are the amusement parks safe enough?
There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on a variety of factors, including the specific amusement park in question, its safety record, the type of rides and attractions offered, and the overall safety protocols that are in place. However, there have been a number of high-profile accidents at amusement parks in recent years that have raised concerns about the safety of these facilities. In 2016, for example, a woman was killed when she fell from a ride at an amusement park in Australia. And in 2017, a 10-year-old boy was decapitated after he rode on an attraction at a water park in Kansas. These incidents illustrate the need for guests to exercise caution when visiting an amusement park and to follow all posted safety guidelines.
There are several things that can be done to prevent accidents like this from happening in the future. First, operators of amusement park rides should be properly trained in how to safely operate the equipment. Second, safety sensors and other safety devices should be regularly inspected and maintained to ensure they are functioning properly. Finally, riders should be instructed on how to safely ride the attraction and what to do if they feel unsafe at any point during the ride.