The owner of the International Drive attraction where a teenage visitor fell to his death last week is demanding the closure of drop tower's sister ride as well.
Both Orlando FreeFall and Orlando SlingShot are located at ICON Park on International Drive. However, the attractions are owned and operated by another company, SlingShot Group, which leases the land from ICON Park. SlingShot Group closed the 450-foot Orlando FreeFall last week following the accident that claimed the life of 14-year-old Tyre Sampson of Missouri. SlingShot Group announced that the ride would remain closed pending an investigation into the incident.
Now ICON Park wants the adjacent Orlando SlingShot ride closed, too, until both rides are proven safe by authorities. The company issued the following statement to the press today:
"As the landlord of the 20-acre entertainment destination in the center of the Orlando Entertainment District, ICON Park's mission is to provide safe, family entertainment. We rely on our tenants to be experts at what they do. In the interests of public safety, ICON Park demands that the SlingShot Group suspend not only the operation of Orlando FreeFall but also the operation of Orlando SlingShot, effective immediately, continuing until such time as a thorough investigation by the appropriate authorities has been completed and all parties are satisfied that the rides are safe for the public."
"We continue to grieve the passing of Tyre Sampson and our thoughts are with his family and friends. This was the saddest day in the history of ICON Park and we're working hard to make sure this never happens again."
In September 2020, a maintenance worker, 21-year-old Jacob Kaminsky, fell to his death while working on ICON Park's 450-foot Orlando StarFlyer swing ride.
Update: The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which oversees amusement attractions in the state, has released an operations manual for the Funtime Freefall 2021 with Tiltseats, which is the model for the Orlando FreeFall ride. The manual says that the maximum weight for riders on the attraction is 130 kg, or just under 287 pounds. According to media reports quoting family members, Sampson was 6'5" and 340 pounds, which would mean that he exceeded the maximum allowed weight for the ride.
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