1 person has been pronounced dead and 3 more have been hospitalized after a raft overturned on a water ride at an amusement park.
The incident occurred at approximately 7:35 pm on Saturday, July 3rd, at Adventureland Park in Altoona, Iowa, when a boat on the Raging River ride overturned with 6 riders on it, according to a statement given by Adventureland Park.
Once the raft had overturned, it caused critical injuries to 3 people and left 1 with minor injuries, the statement had stated.
"Altoona Fire and Police were on the property and responded immediately," said Adventureland Park in their initial statement on Saturday night. "We want to thank them as well as Des Moines, Ankeny, Bondurant, Pleasant Hill and Delaware Township Emergency Services for their fast response... Our thoughts are with the affected families at this time."
The park said the ride had been inspected the day before and "was found to be in good working order" before the accident happened. The Raging River ride will now remain closed amid an extremely thorough inspection.
Adventureland Park released a second statement on Sunday night after they were informed of the passing of one of the injured riders.
"Adventureland is saddened to learn of the passing of one guest involved in the Raging River accident on the evening of 7/3/21," the park's second statement said. "This investigation is ongoing and the ride remains closed. Adventureland is working closely with both the State and local authorities and would like to thank them again for their efforts. At this time, we ask for your thoughts and prayers for the Guest and their family, as well as for our team members who were on site."
This is reportedly not the first fatal accident to have taken place in connection with the Raging River ride at Adventureland Park.
As per the Des Moines Register, sixty-eight-year-old Adventureland Park employee, Steve Booher, died in 2016 while he was working on the ride as he was helping riders get out of the rafts. Tragically, he fell onto the conveyor belt and suffered a fractured skull and fatal brain injury, resulting in him passing away 4 days later.
After the devastating 2016 incident, Booher's death resulted in a $4,500 fine from Iowa's Occupational Safety and Health Administration as per the Des Moines Register, which is the maximum the agency could fine the establishment for that type of violation.
The circumstances, however, that led to Saturday's tragic incident are currently unclear and the investigation is still ongoing, meaning the ride will remain closed during this time.
Our hearts go out to the families who've been affected by this incident.