(ALTOONA, Iowa) — One person is dead and three more have been hospitalized after a raft overturned on a water ride at an amusement park.
The incident occurred at approximately 7:35 p.m. on Saturday, July 3, at Adventureland Park in Altoona, Iowa — part of the Des Moines metropolitan area — when a boat on the Raging River ride overturned with six riders on it, according to a statement from Adventureland Park.
The overturned raft caused critical injuries to three people and left one with minor injuries, the statement continued.
“Altoona Fire and Police were on 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.”
Adventureland Park said the ride had been inspected the day before and “was found to be in good working order” at the time of the accident. The Raging River ride will now remain closed for a more thorough inspection.
Adventureland Park released a second statement on Sunday night after they learned 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 onsite.”
There have been no additional updates on the conditions of the other three survivors since the initial statement.
This, however, is reportedly not the first fatal accident to have taken place in connection with the Raging River ride at Adventureland Park.
According to the Des Moines Register, 68-year-old Adventureland Park employee, Steve Booher, reportedly died in 2016 while he was working on the ride as he was helping riders get out of the Raging River rafts at the end of the ride but fell onto the conveyor belt and suffered a fractured skull along with a major brain injury. Booher died four days later.
Iowa’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration subsequently fined the theme park $4,500 following Booher’s death, according to the Des Moines Register — the maximum the agency could assess for that type of violation.
The circumstances that led up to Saturday’s incident are currently unclear and the investigation is ongoing and the ride will remain closed during that time.
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