ORLANDO, Florida. – A 14-year-old boy died on an amusement park ride in Orlando, sheriff’s officials said.
Sheriff’s officials and emergency crews responded to a call late Thursday at Icon Park, located in the city’s tourist district along International Drive. The boy fell from the Orlando Free Fall ride, which opened late last year.
He was taken to hospital, where he died, sheriff’s officials said. No further details about the teenager or the incident were immediately released.
Video aired by NBC’s “Today” show Friday morning appears to show passengers on the ride discussing issues with a seat restraint Thursday night. The ride then began its trek up the tower before someone was later seen falling off the ride.
“We are absolutely saddened and devastated by what happened, and our hearts go out to the family of this young man,” John Stine, sales manager for the Slingshot Group, owner of the ride, told The Associated Press on Friday morning. .
The Free Fall ride and an adjacent ride, the Sling Shot, have been closed indefinitely, Stine said. His company operates the two rides at Icon Park.
“We are cooperating with all other investigations at this time to get to the bottom of what happened,” Stine said.
Stine said no issues had previously been reported with the Free Fall ride, which opened over the holidays.
The ride is 131 meters tall and billed as the tallest freestanding drop tower in the world, according to the park’s website.
The ride seats 30 passengers as it soars into the air, spins around the tower and then tilts to face the ground before plummeting at more than 75 mph (120 km/h), according to the website .
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