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6-year-old child who died at Colorado amusement park was sitting on seat belts, report says

An investigation into the death of a 6-year-old girl at an amusement park on September 5 found that the ride operators had bypassed a security system and failed to properly secure the girl before she fell to her death.

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment report released Friday found Wongel Estifanos was not properly strapped to one of his two seat belts during the Haunted Mine Drop ride at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park . The park is located in the mountain resort town of Glenwood Springs, approximately 40 miles northwest of Aspen.

Employees are expected to fasten and check each seat belt for each passenger before starting the ride, according to the report. But when Estifanos first sat down, “the operators did not notice that she was sitting on both seat belts”.

The report states that a control system should have prevented operators from starting the ride if there was a seat belt problem, but they “took several incorrect actions and reset the seat belt monitors on the ride,” which allowed them to distribute the journey “.

“Because Ms. Estifanos was not restrained in the seat, she separated from her seat and fell to the bottom of the HMD rod, resulting in her death.”

“This fatal accident is the result of multiple operator errors, exacerbated by several factors detailed in this report,” the report said.

The report concluded that a lack of proper procedures, inadequate training of amusement ride operators, multiple operators taking responsibility for an amusement ride during a cycle, and the restraint system itself all contributed to the fatal accident.

The Haunted Mine Drop amusement ride at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs will remain closed until the state re-permits, the Department of Labor and Employment said.

The ride, which opened in July 2017, drops runners 110 feet into a mountain before returning them to the main level, NBC affiliate KUSA of Denver reported.

Steve Beckley, founder of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, said in a statement Monday that he received the state safety report and that the park community is “heartbroken by the tragic accident that occurred here on September 5 “.

“More than anything, we want the Estifanos family to know how sorry we are for their loss and how determined we are to ensure that this does not happen again,” Beckley said in a statement.

Dan Caplis, an attorney representing the girl’s parents in a wrongful death lawsuit against Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park that he expects to bring this week, said the Estifanos family “are determined to do whatever it takes. his power to make sure no one dies this way. again. “

“As part of this mission, they are asking witnesses to come forward, including people who encountered problems with the haunted mine drop before Wongel was killed on it.”

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