Woman thrown from coaster may not have been properly restrained

Footage from the August 2014 opening of the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster

UPDATE:  The Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster was reopened 10 days after the accident.

Original story: July 12, 2016

The Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster has been shut down following an incident involving a passenger being thrown from the ride.

Alma Fatien, the front passenger of a double ride slide was thrown from her slide on July 3, and suffered fractures to both wrists, a knee cap, head trauma, and possible broken ribs, according to Chris Cannon, Director of Communications for the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. 

Fatien was taken to a local hospital for treatment. 

After the incident, Cannon said a third-party inspector, certified by the National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials, completed a full inspection and found no issues. The inspector determined the Mountain Coaster was in proper working order at the time.

A separate accident report from the coaster's owner stated, “We have reason to believe that the front riding guest was not buckled.” The passenger’s “safety restraint was also not checked before leaving the station. This is in direct violation of our safety protocol,” the report states.

Anthony Cordina, the general manager of Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster, said the ride's video does not show the woman unbuckling her seatbelt.

Cordina said he can't discuss the safety inspection further due to an ongoing investigation with the employee who was supposed to check the seatbelt.

However, the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster still must comply with remedial measures, according to Cannon. 

"This Department is still working with the company to achieve statutory compliance requirements which will not be ready until next week, until then the Mountain Coaster remains closed," Cannon said. 

On its Facebook page, the attraction informed guests that it is closed for repairs after they discovered a sensor issue during a system check. They added that they are waiting for a part from the original manufacturer in Germany. The site had deleted the post by Friday evening. 

© 2017 WBIR.COM


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