Fla. firefighters rescue more than 60 from ferris wheel after power outage
Over a dozen fire engines responded, according to Orange County Fire Rescue
By Cristóbal Reyes
ORLANDO, Fla. — At least 62 riders on The Wheel at ICON Park were rescued Saturday night after it suddenly stopped due to a power failure, according to Orange County Fire Rescue.
More than a dozen fire engines arrived at the scene around 6:30 p.m., according to OCFR’s active call list. By 8 p.m., crews had begun rescuing people from the ride.
There were no injuries.
Witnesses took to social media after the ride stopped, with some describing a possible power outage just before the ride stopped. One witness on Twitter described the ride’s lights as being “visible for a short time” before seeing a “shower of sparks” raining from the ride.
The Wheel’s stoppage comes as ICON Park and its partners have been scrutinized after 14-year-old Tyre Sampson fell to his death while riding the Orlando Free Fall in March.
On that ride, the Florida Department of Agriculture accused Orlando Slingshot, the company that owns the ride which operated in ICON Park, of breaking several laws the night Tyre died. The department alleged the company knew its safety sensors were modified to accommodate “larger guests” outside the recommended specifications.
Orlando Slingshot was also accused of improper employee training, “deficient” record keeping on the ride’s maintenance, ignoring manufacturer instructions on the maximum weight of guests on the ride, among other allegations.
The company denies any wrongdoing. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office was tasked with conducting a criminal review of the incident, and no employees are currently facing charges.
SO SCARY! Guests were stuck on the 400-foot tall wheel at ICON Park in Orlando for hours after the ride lost power on New Year's Eve. Read more: https://t.co/8WbVa1FBjg pic.twitter.com/89jZpVQt01— WFLA NEWS (@WFLA) January 1, 2023
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