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Florida skydiving ride deemed a ‘public health hazard’ by authorities after death

A plummeting amusement ride in Florida where a 14-year-old boy died last month has been declared “an immediate and grave danger to the public health, safety and welfare” in a closure order.

The state’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) order, which was made public on Monday, ordered the Orlando FreeFall at Icon Park in Orlando to be closed a day after Tire Sampson’s death. March 24.

The teenager fell out of his harness as the towering 430ft ride, which is taller than the Statue of Liberty, rapidly descended to the ground.

Video taken at the scene reportedly captured one of the passengers worrying that a seatbelt was not properly fastened moments before the ride departed. Driving safety experts who reviewed footage of the incident said a harness placed on Tyr appeared to be securely locked in place, but not lowered enough to secure him.

FDACS has investigated how the incident occurred and what changes can be made to prevent a similar incident from happening again.

Attorney Benjamin Crump, who represents Tyre’s father, visited the ride on Tuesday and called the teenager’s death completely preventable.

“Outside of the tragic torture video of George Floyd, I think this is the worst tragedy captured on video that I have ever seen,” he told reporters at the scene.

There were questions about the ride’s safety protocols, particularly whether a weight restriction was clearly posted as required by state law.

Tyre, who was visiting Orlando from Missouri with his football team, weighed 330 pounds, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. The ride, however, has a recommended maximum weight of 287 pounds, according to a rider’s manual published by the FDACS.

Attorney Michael Haggard, who also represents the Sampson family, said he was unable to find this posted weight limit on the ride.

“The last chance to stop this was to just have a weight requirement and enforce it,” Haggard said, according to WESH-TV news. “They have a height limit there, a height restriction, but I haven’t seen anywhere where they measure it…And they have a weight restriction that’s not disclosed to anyone.”

An attorney for the ride’s owner, Orlando Eagle Drop Slingshot LLC., did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment on Thursday.

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