On June 3, 2001, the Department of Coroner performed an examination on Ms. Pearl Santos who was reportedly found unresponsive after riding an attraction at a local amusement park on June 2, 2001. The Senior Deputy Medical Examiner has ordered additional testing and studies. The additional testing includes a toxicological screen and neuropathological studies. An earlier release of information regarding the cause of death was premature. Information that the attraction was directly responsible for the death was also premature. The final cause, mode, and manner of death have not been finalized. Until all testing and studies have been completed, the cause of death is DEFERRED. The autopsy report will not be available for release until the case is closed. It is estimated that the case will close in 4 to 6 weeks once all test results have been received.
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The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating.
Firefighters used ladder trucks to rescue the riders.
No one was injured, however one woman, who was pregnant, was sent to a hospital for observation.
Anaheim fire department officials support the plan, which could go into effect as early as next week.
Investigators are determining whether the restraining bar unlocked during the ride, and whether it had been locked before the ride started.
The ride is owned by UK Fun Fair.
The action comes in response to the 1998 Himalaya ride accident at the Austin-Travis Livestock Show and Rodeo. Fifteen-year-old Leslie Lane was killed when her safety bar broke off her car. The owner of the ride, B&B Amusements of Yuma, Arizona, pled guilty to manslaughter charges in connection with the accident. B&B Amusements is the first company in American history to be held criminally responsible for negligence resulting in the death of a rider. The company which inspected the ride, Bob G. Gill & Associates, still faces manslaughter charges.
The bill, H.R. 1488, would restore the jurisdiction of the National Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) over amusement park rides operating in the United States. Markey calls the bill "a modest restoration of safety to all parkgoers."
At present, the CPSC only has jurisdiction over carnival rides which move from state to state. The CPSC used to regulate all ride operation, including that of fixed-site amusement park rides, however, in 1981, Congress exempted all fixed-site amusement rides from federal regulation.
"It is shocking to realize that one-third of all roller coasters in this country are never inspected by any public safety official at all," said Markey.
"To me, it is inexcusable that when someone dies or is seriously injured on these rides, there is no system in place to ensure that the ride is investigated, the causes determined, and the flaws fixed, not just on that ride, but on every similar ride in every other state."
Markey's legislation would give the CPSC the authority to set standards for rides, perform inspections, investigate accidents, recall unsafe equipment, impose civil penalties, and would appropriate $500,000 annually to enable the CPSC to accomplish those tasks. The CPSC supports the legislation.
Markey had submitted the legislation to the U.S. House in the last congressional session, but it never made its way to the House floor due to time constraints. There were 47 Democrats and 6 Republicans who joined Markey in co-sponsoring the bill last year.
The amusement industry opposes any federal attempts to improve safety at theme parks, and is fighting against Markey's legislation.
Organizations in support of the National Amusement Ride Safety Act include: the Consumer Federation of America, the Consumers Union, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, the National SAFE KIDS Campaign, the American Council on Consumer Awareness, and various consumer and public safety councils across the country.
The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Officials from the North Carolina Department of Labor are investigating the accident.
The ride is owned by Smoky Mountain Amusements of Robbinsville, North Carolina.
Officials from the North Carolina Elevator and Amusement Device Inspection Bureau are investigating the accident and say that they are unaware of any other similar incidents.
The carnival owners, who also say they have never heard of any similar cases, have agreed to pay all of the girl's medical expenses.
Officials say that a strong, freak gust of wind lifted the ride about 10 feet into the air, and that they will focus their investigation on the cables used to secure the ride to the ground.
Twelve other people were also injured in the accident, including 11 children, five of whom remain hospitalized.
The South Australian Workplace Services department is issuing an alert to other amusement ride operators, warning them of the potential dangers that changes in weather conditions can have on inflatable rides.
The girl died at the company's Hi-Speed Race Karts track in Palatine, Illinois. The car in which she and her 21-year-old mother were riding collided with another car which had spun out directly in front of them. The girl was riding in between her mother's legs at the time of the accident. When the two cars collided, she was crushed between the steering wheel and her mother's body. None of the go-carts had seat belts.
The Labor Department successfully argued that the company failed to report several injuries at its tracks in violation of state law, and that last summer's incident was not reported until a week after the accident. Illinois law requires that such injuries be reported within 24 hours.
The OSHA investigation found that the ride was operated with openings between the edge of the catwalk and the edge of the ride surface, and along the ride surface itself, and that employees who were working inside the ride could fall through the openings into moving machine parts or onto parts of the ride support structure.
OSHA also cited the owners for failing to properly train employees in the use of fire extinguishers and "in the safe operation and procedures associated with working on and/or near the moving cars or other hazardous machinery of the ride."
The owners were also cited for blocking exits, blocking exit signs, partially obstructing the ride path and catwalk areas, improperly storing combustible materials, electrical hazards, and for using room partitions that were not made from flame retardant materials.
The ride consists of a movie theater with an IMAX screen and 90 seats, which lift and move as riders watch a movie filled with the sights and sounds of hang-gliding. The incident is being blamed on an electrical amplifier, which is connected to the ride control panel located in the basement of the building. The amplifier unit overheated, sending smoke through the ventilation system and into the theater, triggering off a fire alarm.
The riders, who were previewing the ride before its official opening on Thursday, were not injured.
The state ordered the park to review proper ride operating procedures with its employees before it reopened the ride. Disneyland spokesman Ray Gomez says that procedures were reviewed, and the ride has been reopened.
Disneyland ride operators were also faulted for a September 22 accident on the Roger Rabbit Car Toon Spin ride which left a 4-year-old severely brain damaged. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) determined that the boy's lap bar was "probably" not fully lowered when he fell out of the car, and that ride operators failed to properly seat the boy in the car.
Disney's safety policy for the Roger Rabbit ride states that children should be seated on the outside of each car, where there is no opening. Instead, the boy was seated on the inside of the car, next to an unprotected opening which allows passengers to get in and out of the car. In its report, OSHA concluded "the most likely explanation for the accident is that the child fell through the entrance to the car." The child ended up falling out of his car, then got pinned underneath a trailing car after it struck him.
The Roger Rabbit ride remains closed, pending the park's implementation of state-ordered safety modifications.
The victim was taken to an area hospital where she was treated for head and neck pain, and possibly a concussion.
Disneyland has reported the accident to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, and the ride has been shut down pending a safety evaluation.
The victim, who was working as the train's conductor, was freed by firefighters who used the Jaws of Life to lift the train off of him. He was then airlifted to UCI Medical Center in Orange, California where he was hospitalized with multiple fractures to one leg, and a fractured foot on his other leg. While his injuries are serious, a hospital spokeswoman says they are not life-threatening, and that the man is not in danger of losing a leg.
In 1996, a 56-year-old man was killed while working as the conductor of the Calico Railroad. He was crushed to death while trying to separate two of the ride's steam-engine train cars.
The Calico Railroad is now closed, pending an investigation by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health.
The commission says it wants to determine whether the non-mechanical playground equipment used in the Tom Sawyer Island attraction is safe.
Under new state law, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) has the authority to investigate most accidents at amusement parks, however, it only has jurisdiction over mechanical rides. Since the Tom Sawyer Island attraction is not a mechanical amusement ride as defined by law, OSHA does not have the authority to investigate.
The CPSC says that while it does not have the authority to investigate amusement ride accidents at theme parks, it does have jurisdiction over most other devices, including playground equipment like that used in the Tom Sawyer Island attraction. The commission maintains that it has the authority to recall the equipment if they deem it unsafe.
"If it's not an amusement ride, we can investigate," says Jane Francis, spokeswoman for the CPSC.
"Our concern is whether a piece of equipment is safe. If there's a defect with the equipment, we need to look into it."
Disneyland says that its own inspection of the equipment showed that everything was operating normally, and park officials are questioning whether the CPSC has jurisdiction to investigate the accident.
Disneyland has decided to close the Fort Wilderness section of the Tom Sawyer Island attraction during the investigation.
Park officials have inspected the equipment and say that everything was operating properly at the time of the accident.
The fair runs through January 28.
Investigators concluded that the accident was caused by mechanical failure.
One woman, whose two children who were trapped in the accident, told reporters, "I'm still kind of upset with Great America. Still to this day we have not received an apology of any kind. It would have felt better in my heart if they had truly felt sorry for what happened."
The park and its attorneys declined to comment on the case.
On September 22, the boy, now 5, fell from his car, then got pinned underneath a trailing car after it struck him.
An investigation by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) concluded that park employees did not properly seat the child in the car, and that the child's safety bar was "probably" not lowered completely. OSHA has also deemed the ride unsafe, and has ordered the park to make safety modifications to the ride before it can reopen.
The park denies any responsibility for the accident.
Speaking about the park's response to the accident, Thomas Girardi, the attorney representing the family, told reporters: "The only thing they're going to understand is a lawsuit and a jury telling them that they owe this family."
The boy suffers from severe brain damage and remains hospitalized.