Child falls off roller coaster at amusement park in Pennsylvania

Posted at 4:51 PM, Aug 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-11 16:51:44-04

LIGONIER, Pa. — A child fell off a roller coaster at a Pennsylvania amusement park Thursday, a local official confirmed to CNN.

An ambulance was dispatched to Idlewild & SoakZone in Ligonier, Pennsylvania, around 1 p.m. after the child fell, Westmoreland County Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Mary Beth Eslary said.

The child was flown by medical helicopter to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Eslary said.

Details about the circumstances surrounding the incident were not immediately clear, and the condition of the child is unknown.

Idlewild has two roller coasters –  the Rollo Coaster, with a height requirement of 36 inches, and the Wild Mouse, which has a 48-inch requirement, according to WTAE.

Cars on the Rollo Coaster do not include seat belts and riders who are under 48 inches must be accompanied by an adult.

The incident comes on the heels of multiple high-profile accidents at amusement parks across the country, including one that ended in the death of a 10-year-old boy at a water park in Kansas.

Caleb Schwab, 10, was killed as he flew down the Verruckt waterslide at Schlitterbahn WaterPark in Kansas City, Kansas. The slide is 168 feet tall. In Greenville, Tenn., three girls were hurt when they fell 35 to 45 feet from a Ferris wheel at a county fair.

Thousands of children are hurt annually on amusement rides, according to a 2013 study by Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. The study examined data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Head and neck injuries were the most common at 28 percent, with 1.5 percent of the injuries requiring hospitalization, the study said.

Consumer Product Safety Commission statistics for 2015 are not available, but a review of the raw data found 45,000 injuries associated with amusement rides and water slides nationwide. About 30,000 of these cases involved those under age 18.