Adventureland Ride That Marion Boy Died On Had Over a Dozen Safety Violations
In July of this year, there was a tragic incident at a place that's supposed to be full of fun. A boy died on a ride at the popular theme park Adventureland in Altoona, Iowa. Now, the Iowa Division of Labor has found 17 safety standards that have been violated.
On July 3, 2021, an 11-year-old boy named Michael Jaramillo drowned on the Raging River ride at Adventureland when the raft carrying him and his family capsized. The boy's brother and father were seriously injured. The Des Moines Register reports that the Iowa Department of Labor found 17 safety violations. Some of those violations state that the park:
- Operated the ride with inadequate air pressures in raft bladders
- Did not test the ride without passengers after repairs
- Used parts that hadn't been approved by the manufacturer to replace the weirs that guide rafts, and did not do associated engineering work.
- Used Flex Seal instead of manufacturer-approved patches to fix leaks. The Des Moines Register states that "a state report said the Jaramillo raft after the accident had a deflated bladder, and a state report said it had been repaired earlier in the day."
- Didn't provide continuous, direct supervision of riders.
- Failed to update the ride's evacuation plan when the park's layout changed due to fireworks festivities.
- Used "deficient" forms for daily inspections.
- Conducted inadequate training for employees on ride operation and evacuation.
Despite the findings, the report states that on July 2, one day before the tragedy, a state ride inspector signed off on the condition of the ride and the park's written operation policies. Although Adventureland was not fined for any of the violations, they do have to make 11 changes before the ride can reopen. Below is a video of the Raging River ride for reference:
You can read more about the violation findings and what the park plans to do here.