Tragic mistake workers made in young girl's theme park death

·News Reporter
·2-min read

Authorities have determined how a six-year-old girl died on an amusement park ride while on holiday with her family.

Wongel Estifanos was with her family at the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in the US state of Colorado when the fatal incident occurred on September 5.

The little girl was riding the Haunted Mine Drop, which carries six passengers at a time and drops about 33 metres. It is a tower-style ride which involves a free fall.

Unfortunately, Wongel fell and suffered fatal injuries.

Colorado Division of Oil and Public Safety released its accident and investigation report into exactly what caused Wongel’s death.

Wongel Estifanos, 6, is pictured.
Wongel Estifanos, 6, died on an amusement park ride in Colorado. Source: GoFundMe

“When Ms Estifanos, a six-year old girl, sat down on the ride, operators did not notice she was sitting on top of both seat belts,” the report reads.

“The control system of the ride prevented the operators from dispatching the ride and alerted them to a seatbelt safety issue on Ms Estifanos’ seat.”

According to the report, operators “took several incorrect actions” and reset the ride seat belt monitors which allowed them to dispatch the ride.

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

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

The Haunted Mine Drop is shown in this July 2017 file photo at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs.
Findings from a public safety department claim operators of the Haunted Mine Drop failed to utilise the seat belts properly. Source: AAP

A review of surveillance footage found one of the operators “inconsistently” failed to unbuckle seat belts and clear seats. Operators of the ride also had “inadequate training”.

The report also found two operators did not follow the proper operating procedures which included pulling the seat belt over the passenger and inserting the rod into the restraint lock, and visually checking the passenger had a seatbelt over their lap.

The Haunted Mine Drop will remain closed until the public safety department gives it the green light to reopen.

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