Joe Mario Pedersen
ORLANDO, Fla. — A 14-year-old boy died late Thursday after falling from the Orlando Free Fall ride at Icon Park, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies responded at 11:12 p.m. to 8433 International Drive.
The boy was taken to Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children where he was pronounced dead, OCSO said.
Deputies have released no other information but an investigation is underway, said John Stine, sales director with the Slingshot Group, which owns the Orlando Free Fall.
“We are devastated that this happened, and our hearts go out the family,” Stine said. “We are cooperating with all other investigations at this time to get to the bottom of what happened.”
The ride is closed indefinitely until the investigation has concluded, Stine said.
The Orlando Free Fall tower, which opened in December, rises 430 feet as the the world’s tallest free-standing drop tower, according to the attraction.
Thirty riders sit in the ride as it rises to the top, rotates around the tower, then tilts at 30 degrees to face the ground before a brief moment of free falling, Ritchie Armstrong, CEO of Slingshot Group, told the Orlando Sentinel in January, shortly after opening the attraction.
“It falls down free, detached from the tower, reaching speeds of up to 75 miles per hour before this beautiful magnetic braking system gives them a nice, smooth, slow stop, straight back down to the ground,” Armstrong said.
The Slingshot Group also owns the Orlando SlingShot, which stands at 300 feet and propels two riders in a basket above its support poles for a height of 450 feet at about 100 mph, Armstrong said.
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