Nine Parks Shut Down Tower Rides After Girl's Feet Severed in Kentucky
Nine thrill rides around the country were shut down Friday after a 13-year-old girl's feet were severed off at an amusement park in Louisville, Ky.
A Six Flags spokeswoman said the company has shut down rides similar to Louisville's Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom's Superman Tower of Power at parks in St. Louis, Gurnee, Illinois, and near Washington, D.C., as a safety precaution.
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Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. also shut down and inspected drop tower rides at Kings Island near Cincinnati; Canada's Wonderland, in Toronto; Kings Dominion in Doswell, Va.; Carowinds, in Charlotte, N.C.; and Great America in Santa Clara, Calif., company spokeswoman Stacy Frole said.
State officials were investigating how the 13-year-old girl's feet were severed.
Witnesses saw a cable snap before hearing screams of terror.
"I seen the car go up. Then, like, the cable broke, I heard — pwchh — and I heard a lot of people screaming," Chris Stinette, who was on the ride when the accident occurred, told FOX 41.
Investigators returned to the park Friday to examine the ride, said Bill Clary, a spokesman for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.
The Agriculture Department is responsible for inspecting amusement park rides in Kentucky. "We don't know the cause and we may never know the cause, honestly," Clary said.
Part of a broke cable was visible on the ride, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported. Asked about the cable, McLean told the paper, "it would be speculation" to say how the ride malfunctioned or whether the cable contributed to the accident.
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The girl, whose name was not released because she's a minor, was initially treated at University Hospital and her condition was unknown, according to park spokeswoman Carolyn McLean. Her condition was unavailable Friday morning.
The ride lifts passengers 177 feet straight up, then drops 154 feet, reaching a speed of 54 mph according to the park's Web site.
The ride has been shut down indefinitely while park and state officials investigate what caused the accident. The rest of the park remained open.
The ride opened in 1995 and was originally called the "Hellevator," the Courier-Journal reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.