Dollywood closes its drop tower in response to fatal accident in Orlando

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

Dollywood said Sunday it has temporarily closed a ride developed by the same maker of a free-fall ride from which a teen dropped to his death at ICON Park in Orlando. “Although Dollywood does not have the specific ride involved in this tragic incident, the safety of our guests is our top priority,” Dollywood said.

Read more from AP via NBC News.

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eightdotthree's avatar

Interesting to see Dollywood's reaction and compare it to the non-reactions to the Top Thrill Dragster incident.

Maybe they will confirm that the "go/no go" indicator is appropriate. Dollywood's tower doesn't have the tilting seats, looks to have a completely different restraint system - although it's still an OTSR, it looks to function more like a lap bar since there is much more room at the shoulders.

That talk of the investigators having different people try the seat on the ICON Park ride that the guy was sitting in (or another one with the restraint at the same position) and having several of them be able to basically just get themselves out is pretty freaky. How many levels of failure were there for the ride to get operating like that? Design, manufacturer tests, park tests, state tests/inspection, etc. Kind of seems like a pile of different groups missing something rather obvious. Then there's people out there saying they had concerns about it all along. Did they say anything? Were they ignored? Seems wild that they wouldn't have ever had people of various proportions try to defeat the restraints at some point in the commissioning.

The only other possible and maybe more reasonable explanation is that somehow there was a way that the restraint was installed/reinstalled incorrectly after maintenance where the light would be on, but the restraint was further up than the system thought it was. Seems like it'd be unlikely and would be ruled out in the design, but clearly something went wrong here. I'm in agreement that you can't put it on the teenage operators despite how poorly they come across in the video.


Raven-Phile's avatar

What about the possibility that said seat was modified post-installation to accommodate lager riders?

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