Idlewild and SoakZone in Pennsylvania is latest park to have an accident
Thursday's accident marks the fourth in amusement parks this week
The nation saw its fourth amusement park accident in five days when a three-year-old boy apparently fell out of a roller coaster in Pennsylvania on Thursday, a local official told CNN.
Details were sketchy about the child and the injuries he received at Idlewild and SoakZone in Ligonier around 1 p.m.
He was airlifted to Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh about 50 miles away, said Westmoreland County public safety spokeswoman Mary Beth Eslary. A hospital spokeswoman said the parents have asked that no information be released about the child or his condition.
In the other recent accidents on amusement park or fair rides across the country, one child has been killed, another suffered a brain injury and at least two others were hospitalized.
Idlewild and SoakZone spokesman Jeff Croushore provided few details regarding the accident, but said it happened on the Rollo Coaster, an old-style wooden ride, CNN-affiliate WTAE reported.
The boy fell off about midway through the ride, according to Eslary.
Croushore said the boy, who was riding with his brother, was alert and talking after the fall.
The roller coaster, which was built in 1938, does not include seat belts and has a height requirement of 36 inches; riders under 48 inches must be accompanied by an adult, according to the park’s website.
The coaster was inspected August 6 and passed, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, which oversees the state’s 10,200 amusement rides. The department is now investigating the accident, and it will re-examine the inspection history, said Logan D. Hall, spokesman for the department.
The Rollo Coaster will be closed pending the results of the investigation, Croushore said.
A pair of inspectors from the Bureau of Ride and Measurement Standards, part of the agriculture department, arrived at the park at 7 a.m. Friday, according to bureau director Walter Remmert.
Recent accidents spark investigations
The Pennsylvania accident comes after several others across the nation.
A 10-year-old boy died on a water slide at the Schlitterbahn Water Park in Kansas City, Kansas, on Sunday. Two riders were injured when a launch cable detached at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, that same day.
Three children fell from a Ferris wheel at a Tennessee county fair on Monday, critically injuring two of them. On Thursday, a 6-year-old girl remained in critical condition with a brain injury and a 16-year-old girl had been upgraded to stable condition.
The ages and conditions of the victims in the Ohio accident were not immediately released.
The Kansas City accident, which killed the son of a state legislator, remains under investigation with few details released.
Authorities in Greene County, Tennessee, cited a mechanical flaw for causing the Ferris wheel gondola to tip and spill the girls out at the county fair.
The Kansas water slide passed inspection two months ago, according to state records. Park guests said the slide’s harness wasn’t working properly the day Caleb Thomas Schwab died.