14-Year-Old Boy Falls to His Death on New Orlando Drop Tower Ride
A 14-year-old boy died while riding the highest free-standing drop tower in the world, located in Orlando.
The tragedy took place on Thursday (March 24) night at ICON Park. ICON Park's website states that it is the world's highest free-standing drop tower at 430 feet and carries up to 30 riders. The ride debuted in December 2021.
Video of the incident obtained by The Today Show showed the ride attendant telling the guests that the drop goes down at 70 mph. The riders were also discussing how there wasn't a "click" with the restraints before they lifted off. The video shows the boy somehow being released from his restraint where he then began free falling.
Footage of the boy's death was tragically circulated on social media. The clip showed the aftermath where the attendant actually released the other passengers from the ride before someone checked on the boy who was seen laying on the ground. People screamed for someone to call 9-1-1 and questioned if the attendant checked his restraints.
According to NBC, the unidentified boy was taken to Arnold Palmer Hospital, where he died from his injuries.
"Words can’t say how we feel," said John Stine, director of sales and marketing for the Slingshot Group of Companies, the owner and operator of the ride told the outlet. "Our hearts go out to the family of this young man and that’s all we can say at this time."
Stine claimed that the boy was secured in the harness before it launched. It featured an over-the-shoulder restraint along with two handgrips.
The drop town ride along with the ride next to it, the Sling Shot, have been closed. Stine said that it will open again at an "appropriate time."
"We are cooperating with all other investigations at this time to get to the bottom of what happened," he added.
This wasn't the first death at ICON Park. In 2020, an employee died while he was conducting a safety check on a ride and fell to his death.