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Owner of Orlando FreeFall suspends operations at Florida amusement park

Posted at 3:50 PM, Mar 28, 2022

After a Florida amusement park where a teen fell to his death last week called for the owner of the ride, SlingShot Group, to suspend operations, the CEO of the company released a statement saying they had suspended the operations of FreeFall and Slingshot.

ICON Park announced the news Monday in an update on its website.

Authorities said 14-year-old Tyre Sampson, visiting the park with his family from Missouri, died Thursday in Orlando after he fell from an amusement park ride.

"As the landlord of the 20-acre entertainment destination in the center of the Orlando Entertainment District, ICON Park’s mission is to provide safe, family entertainment," the park said. "We rely on our tenants to be experts at what they do. In the interests of public safety, ICON Park demands that the SlingShot Group suspend not only the operation of Orlando FreeFall but also the operation of Orlando SlingShot, effective immediately, continuing until such time as a thorough investigation by the appropriate authorities has been completed, and all parties are satisfied that the rides are safe for the public."

The amusement park said they continue to cooperate with the ongoing investigations fully.

On Wednesday, Slingshot Group CEO Ritchie Armstrong said in a statement that they have suspended the operations of Free Fall and Slingshot.

“We are heartbroken by the loss of Tyre Sampson and absolutely devastated for his family and loved ones," Armstrong said. "We have suspended the operations of the Free Fall ride and the Slingshot ride at Icon Park. We are fully cooperating with the authorities at the state and local levels who are investigating this tragic incident. We plan on providing additional information in the coming days, as we learn more.”

According to a February Facebook post, the amusement park called the 430-foot ride "the world’s tallest free-standing drop tower."

The ride opened late last year, according to the Associated Press.