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6-Year-Old Girl Killed In Haunted Mine Drop Ride

Wongel Estifanos Haunted Mine Drop Ride Colorado 6-Year-Old Child Killed

Another week, another death on an amusement park ride. Over the past few months — years even — we’ve seen so many incidents, mostly involving children. Are we wrong for thinking these places just aren’t safe for the minors they’re advertising to??

The latest scene of tragedy is Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, where a 6-year-old girl was reportedly killed during a turn on the Haunted Mine Drop ride on Sunday.

Video: Man Caught Hanging From Theme Park Ride Before Plummeting To Death

In a statement on their Facebook page following the incident, Glenwood Caverns confirmed the death though they did not provide no additional details about how it happened:

“An incident occurred this evening, September 5, at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park on the Haunted Mine Drop ride that resulted in a fatality. Authorities and emergency personnel have been dispatched and an investigation is in progress. Out of respect and concern for all parties involved, we will not have further comment until all details have been confirmed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all involved.”

Thoughts and prayers. Great.

The statement noted the park would be closed Monday and Tuesday. According to Denver’s local affiliate CBS4, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment sent an inspector from their Amusement Rides and Devices Program to investigate.

What we know so far is that the victim was a 6-year-old girl from the Colorado Springs area named Wongel Estifanos; the Garfield County Coroner’s Office told CBS4 she was visiting Glenwood Springs with her family.

Her family has since set up a GoFundMe to help cover the funeral cost for their little girl. Wongel was described as “a beautiful, caring, and cheerful girl.”

As far as the nature of the death, we do know it was a fall. The outlet obtained a recording of a police dispatcher requesting “EMS at Glenwood Caverns for a party that fell out of the shaft ride.” The dispatcher told paramedics:

“The party is at the bottom of the shaft.”

The Haunted Mine Drop is a pretend old mine shaft built into Iron Mountain where passengers sit in a bench row of bucket seats — and then are dropped 110 feet in a simulated free fall, reaching 4Gs before being safely slowed and stopped. It was voted “Best New Amusement Park Attraction of 2017” by USA Today.

Something tells us its reputation isn’t going to be the same after this week.

Related: 11-Year-Old Boy Killed & Brother Put In Coma By ‘Safe’ Theme Park Water Ride

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park first opened in 1999 and was billed as “America’s only mountain-top theme park.” Everyone who goes on a ride there  is required to sign a release of liability waiver in case of injury.

Also of note: you have to be at least 46 inches tall to take the plunge; presumably Estifanos was if she was allowed on. (For those who aren’t parents, the average height of a 6-year-old girl in the US is between 42 and 49 inches.)

So how safe is the Haunted Mine Drop? See for yourself.

The YouTube channel Coaster Studios did a featurette on the ride in 2019, in which an employee showed the safety features — which included lap safety belts but not over-the-shoulder restraints.

See the full ride and how it works (below):

Would YOU take your child on a ride like this??

[Image via Coaster Studios/YouTube/GoFundMe.]

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Sep 08, 2021 17:00pm PDT

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