6-year-old girl died after theme park ride operators failed to buckle her in: report
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. - A new report revealed the apparent cause of a tragic accident at a Colorado theme park earlier this month.
A young girl died after falling from a ride at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park during Labor Day weekend. After an investigation into the incident, state officials have determined that she had not been properly secured into the ride.
The Colorado Division of Oil and Public Safety released a report detailing the incident, which occurred Sept. 5. The accident happened around 7:15 that evening at the Haunted Mine Drop ride.
According to the report, a 6-year-old girl named Wongel Estifanos fell from the ride and suffered fatal injuries. The attraction carries six passengers at a time and drops down a shaft 110 feet into the ground.
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The victim was not properly secured into her seat. The ride’s operators apparently did not notice that she was sitting on top of her seatbelts instead of being properly strapped in. When the ride’s system alerted the operators to the issue, they reportedly took "several incorrect steps" and dispatched the ride after resetting the seatbelt monitors.
State officials inspected the ride several days after the incident and determined that the ride itself was operating correctly.
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The report concludes that the ride’s operators did not properly prepare the ride before allowing passengers to board. The seat belts had apparently been buckled during a previous ride when the seat was empty and were not unbuckled after that ride returned to the station.
They also violated the Amusement Ride and Devices Regulations by not following the proper operating procedures.
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The report also states that the ride’s operating manual did not properly instruct the operators on how to address errors.