Workers At ICON Park Overheard Discussing Teen's Fatal Fall From Ride

A teenager died on Thursday night after falling 400 feet from the drop tower at Orlando's ICON Park, and in a video being circulated online, workers at the ride can be heard discussing the ride's safety measures right after the incident occurred.

Officials with the Orange County Sheriff's Office were called to the scene and discovered that a 14-year-old boy had fallen from the Orlando Free Fall ride, which is advertised as the world's tallest free-standing drop tower. The incident is the second to occur at Orlando's ICON Park in less than two years.

The video, which Newsweek will not link due to its graphic nature, was shared on social media, and workers at the ride can be heard asking one another if they "checked it."

In an audio relay shared by KOTV-DT, workers for SlingShot Group, the company that owns and operates Free Fall and another ride at ICON Park,asked the other, "What are you doing?" to which the second worker replied, "I don't know."

"Didn't you check it?" the first worker said.

"Yeah, the light was on," the second replied. A third worker then stated, "We both—we checked it. The light was on."

Again, the first worker asked, "You guys are sure you checked it?"

Both workers talked over one another, but KOTV-DT transcribed both as saying, "We did, yeah, the light was on."

It is unclear what the light they were referring to is, but it most likely was some sort of indication that passengers were securely fastened before the ride began.

The boy was brought to a hospital and died of his injuries, the Orange County Sheriff's Office said. Police have opened an investigation into the death, and the teen has not yet been identified.

Free Fall, which only opened in December, takes up to 30 passengers at full capacity up to the top of the 430-foot tower and tilts passengers to sit at a 30-degree angle facing the ground before dropping back down, reaching speeds up to 75 miles per hour.

Information as to how the boy fell out of the ride has not yet been released.

John Stein, director of sales and marketing for The SlingShot Group told Channel9 that the Free Fall ride will be closed indefinitely.

"Our hearts go out to the family of this young man. Our hearts are broken today," Stein said.

Newsweek was given a statement from ICON Park that was released on Friday also stated, "A tragedy occurred last night at the Orlando FreeFall and our hearts are heavy with sadness. The owner of the attraction is fully cooperating with authorities and ICON Park is doing everything we can to assist. The Orlando FreeFall will be closed pending a full investigation."

While incidents involving rollercoasters are relatively rare, they do happen almost yearly.

In 2021, an 11-year-old boy had his legs severed while on a rollercoaster in Missouri.

In 2020, 21-year-old Jacob Kaminsky, an employee at the ICON park, died after falling 50 to 60 feet off of the Orlando StarFlyer, a swing ride that is 450 feet tall. After the incident, a federal investigation ruled that Kaminsky wasn't hooked up properly to the ride's safety device.

In 2019, a ride was shut down after several passengers had bones fractured while riding the Do-Dodonpa, which was known for its "super death" speeds.

Correction 03/28/22, 12:00 p.m. ET: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the workers in the video work for ICON Park. It has been corrected to say that they work for SlingShot Group, which operates several rides in ICON Park.

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A teenage boy fell off of a 400-foot tall ride in Orlando's ICON Park on March 24, 2022. In this photo, a general view of the attraction 'The Revenge of the Enigma in the background' at Parque Warner Madrid on July 30, 2021, in San Martin de la Vega, Spain. David Benito/Getty Images