6-year-old who died on Colorado amusement park ride was sitting on top of seatbelts, report finds

An investigation into the Sept. 5 amusement park loss of life of a 6-year-old Colorado woman discovered that trip operators overrode a security system and didn’t correctly buckle the woman in earlier than her deadly fall.

The Colorado Division of Labor and Employment report, launched Friday, discovered that Wongel Estifanos was not correctly mounted into both of her two seatbelts on The Haunted Mine Drop trip at Glenwood Caverns Journey Park. The park is positioned within the mountain resort metropolis of Glenwood Springs, about 40 miles northwest of Aspen.

Workers are supposed to lock and examine every seatbelt for every passenger previous to beginning the trip, the report stated. However when Estifanos first sat down, “operators didn’t discover she was sitting on high of each seatbelts.”

The report says a management system ought to have prevented the operators from beginning the trip if there was a seatbelt difficulty, however they “took a number of incorrect actions and reset the trip seatbelt screens which allowed them to dispatch the trip.”

“As a result of Ms. Estifanos was not restrained within the seat she turned separated from her seat and fell to the underside of the HMD shaft, leading to her loss of life.”

“This deadly accident was the results of a number of operator errors, exacerbated by a number of elements detailed on this report,” the report states.

The report concluded {that a} lack of correct procedures, insufficient coaching for trip operators, a number of operators taking duty for a trip throughout a cycle, and the restraint system itself all contributed to the deadly accident.

The Haunted Mine Drop trip at Glenwood Caverns Journey Park in Glenwood Springs will stay closed till the state reissues a allow, the Division of Labor and Employment stated.

The trip, which was opened in July 2017, drops riders 110 ft right into a mountain earlier than it returns them to the principle degree, NBC affiliate KUSA of Denver reported.

Steve Beckley, Glenwood Caverns Journey Park’s founder, stated in an announcement on Monday he had obtained the state security report and the park group is “heart-broken by the tragic accident that occurred right here on September 5.”

“Greater than something, we wish the Estifanos household to know the way deeply sorry we’re for his or her loss and the way dedicated we’re to creating certain it by no means occurs once more,” Beckley stated in an announcement.

Dan Caplis, an lawyer representing the woman’s mother and father in a wrongful loss of life lawsuit in opposition to Glenwood Caverns Journey Park that he expects to file this week, stated the Estifanos household “are decided to do all the pieces of their energy to be sure that nobody ever dies this manner once more.”

“As a part of this mission they’re asking witnesses to return ahead, together with people who skilled issues with the Haunted Mine Drop earlier than Wongel was killed on it.”

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