An incident involving an allegedly faulty lap belt on the Mouse Trap rollercoaster ride in Amarillo, Texas’ Wonderland Amusement Park was evaluated by third-party inspectors, who called the strap “strong.”
The security of the seatbelt came into question after terrifying video footage of a 6-year-old boy’s reaction to the belt’s release mid-ride was posted to social media by his father.
Delbert Latham says his son, Kaysen, was thrown to the bottom of the cart when the seatbelt came undone – the father held him tightly for the rest of ride telling him, “I got you.”
“I was just trying to make sure that he held on and that he didn’t start panicking or trying to move or anything, because I knew that there was another drop coming up,” Latham told KVII-TV
“What makes it worse is when I told the guy at the end of the ride he stated that he knew that had happened sometimes!! Really it’s already happens and you continue to let people ride??!! And after this they continued to let people ride they just didn’t let anyone in the back seat!” the father captioned the Facebook video.
But the National Association of Ride Safety Officials’ certified third-party inspector found “no deficiencies” in the Mouse Trap seatbelt during an independent insurance inspection.
“With the most recent incident regarding the lap belt, we found no deficiency in the belt, in the belt being attached to the car or the buckle that allegedly failed. There was no failure in the buckle that I can determine,” reported inspector Tom Dorgan.
“This particular buckle is widely used in the industry,” he said. “It’s a plastic molded buckle that has a very positive lock. These are fairly new and they are very good and they are very strong. I attempted to pull them apart and can’t.”
International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions spokesperson Colleen Mangone says that the chance of being seriously injured on a fixed-site ride at a U.S. amusement park is 1 in 24 million.
“Safety is paramount to everything we do. In fact, more than 1 billion rides are safely enjoyed by hundreds of millions of amusement park guests each year,” Mangone tells PEOPLE.
THE IAAPA does advise all amusement park guests to adhere by a set of ten safety rules.
1. Obey listed age, height, weight and health restrictions.
2. Observe all posted ride safety rules, and follow all verbal instructions given by ride operators or provided by recorded announcements.
3. Keep hands, arms, legs and feet inside the ride at all times.
4. Secure all loose articles, including wallets, change, sunglasses, cell phones and hats.
5. Do not board a ride impaired.
6. Remain seated in the ride until it comes to a complete stop and you are instructed to exit.
7. Always use safety equipment provided and never attempt to wriggle free of or loosen restraints or other safety devices.
8. Parents should make sure their children can understand and follow safe and appropriate ride behavior.
9. Never force anyone, especially children, to ride attractions they don’t want to ride.
10. If you see any unsafe behavior or condition on a ride, report it to a supervisor ro manager immediately.