A fun day at an Alaska amusement park turned into a hospital visit for one man when a ride malfunctioned, causing injuries. Reports show that the slingshot-style amusement park ride, called the Ejection Seat, was set up in the parking lot of the Crazy Horse Saloon across from Sullivan Arena. The ride was built in 1994 and has been operating in Alaska since 2004.
According to police, the accident appears to be the result of a malfunction of a safety mechanism, causing one of the ride’s seats to disconnect. The seat was left suspended 50 feet in the air. The Anchorage Fire Department was able to free the injured man, who was sent to the hospital.
State authorities said the Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s mechanical inspection section had opened an investigation into the incident. According to Al Nagel, program manager and acting director with the mechanical inspection section, the investigation will “try to determine human fault [or] mechanical fault.”
Alaska does not employ its own ride inspector, as there is a very small pool of carnival ride operators in the state. Thus, ride inspectors are private, independent inspectors from another state.
Nagel assured that the ride would be re-inspected before it is operated again. The ride had been inspected in recent years, showing no signs of malfunction. Any issues in the past seem to have been properly taken care of.
Alaska law requires that the operator of any amusement ride report any accidents resulting in injury or death within 48 hours. Nagel confirmed that the operator of the Ejection Seat properly reported the accident within the 48-hour requirement.
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