The operations manual for Orlando FreeFall, the drop tower ride at ICON Park where a 14-year-old boy died last week after he seemingly fell out of the ride's restraints, indicates that the boy exceeded the ride's weight restrictions.
ORLANDO, Fla. - The operations manual for Orlando FreeFall, the drop tower ride at ICON Park where a 14-year-old boy died last week after he seemingly fell out of the ride's restraints, indicates that the boy exceeded the ride's weight restrictions.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the agency that inspects and oversees some attractions in Florida, released a handful of documents related to its initial investigation, including the operations manual and previous inspections.
Pages 57 & 58 of the 176-page manual discuss rider limitations and restrictions. You can view the manual below.
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"Be careful when seeing if large guests fit into the seats. Check that they fit within the contours of the seat and the bracket fits properly. If this is not so - Do not let this person ride," the manual reads (the bolded line is bolded in the manual).
There is a similar line for small riders, though the concern is ensuring that a rider cannot slide out of the seat. The minimum height requirement is 125 centimeters, or roughly four feet, according to the operations manual.
There is no minimum weight restriction, but there is a maximum weight restriction: 130 kilograms, which is roughly 286 pounds, according to online conversion.
Tyre Sampson, the 14-year-old who died, was six feet, five inches tall, and weighed 340 pounds, according to his dad, Yarnell Sampson. If true, that would mean that Tyre exceeded the maximum weight requirement by 54 pounds.
Other restrictions listed in the manual include ensuring riders are in "good physical and mental condition, specifically not under the influence of drugs or alcohol," and do not have heart or back health concerns.
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Tyre was in Orlando for a football program, his dad said, and with another family from Missouri. They went to ICON Park last Thursday to have some fun.
The Orlando FreeFall is billed as the tallest drop tower in the world, according to ICON Park's website, which has since removed the attraction's web page from the site. It stands at 430 feet and takes passengers to the top, briefly tilts riders forward, and then free falls some 400 feet at 75 miles per hour.
It opened in December 2021. The attraction has remained closed since Thursday while an investigation is conducted.
On Monday, the owners of ICON Park sent a letter to Slingshot Group of Companies, which owns Orlando FreeFall and Orlando Slingshot, another attraction at the park, and demanded that both rides be closed immediately and until their safety is verified.
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FOX 35 reached out to Slingshot Group for comment. We have not received a response. The status of Orlando Slingshot's operations is unknown.
According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, both rides were inspected on Dec. 20, 2021 and both passed. Since they were new rides, they would have an inspection six months later, which would have been in June.
Because the rides were less than six months old, a second inspection had not yet been completed, the department said.
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