Late Thursday night, an incident took place at one of the newest attractions on International Drive in Orlando, the Orlando Free Fall, that has left a 14 year old dead.
- A 14 year old boy who was visiting the Orlando Free Fall, one of the newest attractions on International Drive in Orlando that also markets itself as the tallest free fall drop tower in the world, has died after injuries he sustained after falling from the ride vehicle on Thursday night.
- Deputies from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office arrived at the Orlando Free Fall, located at ICON Park on the popular tourist strip, International Drive, at 11:12 PM where they took the boy to Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children where he was pronounced dead, according to the Sheriff's Office.
- No other information, including the boy’s name, has been released at this time.
- An investigation into the cause of the accident has been opened, and as of Friday morning, inspectors were on-scene but no further details into the cause have been released at this time.
- The Orlando Free Fall opened in December of 2021 and stands at 430 feet tall, with 30 riders who rotate around the tower and tilt 30 degrees before freefalling at speeds of 75 MPH before being slowed as they approach the ground level.
- According to the Orlando Sentinel, a video of the incident has been shared widely across social media where you can see the full ride cycle. Passengers go up the tower slowly, and then upon descent, you can see the boy being flung from his seat on the ride as the vehicle slows down after its freefall. While not the full height of the tower, he is still dozens of feet in the sky when he is no longer in his seat.
- Similar attractions around the world have a secondary seat belt, not for the passenger’s waist, but one that latches from the seat into the harness to prevent it from opening in the event of a malfunctioning harness lock. Earlier in the video, you can hear a passenger asking about a seatbelt, when the attendant says “Seatbelt? There ain’t any.”
- Witnesses watching the ride from below have told local news outlet FOX 35 that they originally thought what they had seen fall from the ride were ride parts or other pieces of the ride, before they realized it was a passenger.
- Orlando Free Fall is closed indefinitely until the investigation has concluded.
What They’re Saying:
- John Stine, sales director with the Slingshot Group of Companies, Owners of Orlando Free Fall: “We are devastated that this happened, and our hearts go out to the family. We are cooperating with all other investigations at this time to get to the bottom of what happened.”