Amusement park safety is under the public spotlight after a little boy fell out of a roller coaster Thursday in Western Pennsylvania, becoming the most recent person to sustain an injury or be killed while seeking a thrill on a ride. According to CNN, the boy fell Thursday afternoon at Idlewild and SoakZone in the town of Ligonier.
Details of his injuries were not immediately available, but Westmoreland County public safety spokeswoman Mary Beth Eslary revealed the boy had to be airlifted to Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, which is about 50 miles away from the park.
A spokesperson for the hospital said the boy's parents have asked for information to be held from the public. Idlewild and SoakZone spokesman Jeff Croushore was able to provide details about the Rollo Coaster, an older model wooden ride that the boy fell from about midway to the finish. The roller coaster was built in 1938 and does not include seat belts. According to the park’s website, the ride has a height requirement of 36 inches, and rider under 48 inches can only get on the roller coaster must be accompanied by an adult.
It was not immediately clear how tall the boy is.
The roller coaster just passed an inspection last Saturday conducted by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, which oversees the 10,200 amusement rides in the state. Logan D. Hall, a spokesperson for the department, said the Rollo Coaster will be inspected again and its inspection history will also be re-examined.
The Rollo Coaster has since been closed pending the results of the investigation.
The accident is the third incident to take place on a U.S. amusement park ride in the past four days.
The wave of ride accidents has sparked concern regarding amusement park safety throughout the U.S.
Read on to find out more about the string of amusement park accidents that have happened so far in 2016:
Four people injured at Six Flags St. Louis: According to Fox News, four people suffered minor injuries while riding the Boomerang roller coaster May 6. The park had not been opened yet for the summer riding season, but elementary, middle school and high school choir students were at the amusement park that day for a music festival while other students attended the event as a part of Outdoor Classroom Days. In a statement released by Six Flags St. Louis, the “gravity defying” Boomerang didn’t complete its normal ride cycle and after stopping at a mid-point location guests exited the ride with the help of the First Aid staff.
Little boy killed at Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kansas: This past Sunday, a 10-year-old boy was killed while riding the park’s 168-foot-tall Verruckt waterslide, CBS news reported. According to the Kansas Police Department, Caleb Thomas Schwab was with three other passengers in a boat on the waterside when he died of a “fatal neck injury at the end of the ride. Some news outlets are reporting that Schwab, the son of Kansas Rep. Scott Schwab, was decapitated, though it remained unclear how exactly that happened. Two female adult riders, unrelated to the victim, also received minor facial injuries and were transported to area hospitals for treatment.
Three girls injured at Green County Fair: Three young girls were injured Monday at a fair in Greenville, Tennessee, after falling more than 30 feet from a Ferris wheel when their basket seat overturned. According to USA Today, one of the girls, Briley Reynolds, 6, was still hospitalized in critical condition. The two others – 10 and 16 years old – were released Thursday.