DOLLYWOOD in Tennessee has announced it is temporarily closing its free fall ride after the death of 14-year-old Tyre Simpson on a similar ride.
The theme park, partially-owned by Dolly Parton, is taking the urgent step of closing its Drop Line attraction ride, which is made by the same manufacturer as the free fall ride in Orlando’s ICON Park.
Dollywood has temporarily closed its 230-foot high Drop Line ride in TennesseeCredit: Getty – Contributor
Tyre Simpson, 14, fell to his death at ICON Park in Orlando, FloridaCredit: The Mega Agency
Last week, Tyre Sampson fell to his death from the Free Fall ride, an attraction said to be the world’s tallest free-standing drop tower at 430 feet high.
“Although Dollywood does not have the specific ride involved in this tragic incident, the safety of our guests is our top priority,” a spokesman for Dollywood said.
“Until further details about the accident at ICON Park are known, we have temporarily closed Drop Line, our drop tower ride that was developed by the same manufacturer,” the spokesman added.
The Drop Line ride is a 20-storey high attraction that drops adrenaline-seekers in “an instant.”
According to the theme park, riders plummet back to the ground “in a thrilling rush of excitement.”
Drop Line accelerates to 78mph giving thrill-seekers a 3.2G rush for nearly three seconds of free fall. The park says the ride “utilizes magnetic brakes to bring the ride to a fast, but smooth stop.”
There is no confirmed date for when the Dollywood ride will reopen.
Investigators are looking into whether the Orlando incident was an accident or intentional. Orange County Sheriff John Mina told local media that “it appears to be a terrible tragedy.”
A chilling video shot before the tragic incident appears to show Tyre’s harness was not buckled correctly.
The teen was seen sitting on the ride with his harness seemingly unbuckled and hanging over his shoulders.
In an interview with CNN, the sales and marketing director for the Orlando Free Fall ride said the company is devastated by Simpson’s death and is focused on finding out what happened.
The Orlando ride remains closed while investigations are ongoing. The ride was reportedly last inspected in December.
The 430-foot high Orlando Free Fall ride at Icon Park, FloridaCredit: Splash
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