ORLANDO, Fla. – The Wheel at ICON Park is closed for maintenance after losing power Saturday night, stranding dozens on board.
Climbers with Orange County Fire Rescue helped evacuate the riders on the attraction, rescuing more than 60 people. According to a statement from ICON Park officials, the ride will be closed for the next few days and a technical team is conducting maintenance.
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Officials said Florida ride inspectors will review the attraction before reopening.
Videos and photos posted on social media appear to show sparks and smoke coming from one section of the wheel.
NEW TODAY: A technical team is working on the Wheel at ICON Park after it lost power on New Year’s Eve. We’re learning the attraction will be looked at by state ride inspectors before it can reopen.https://t.co/EMtJglOiKP pic.twitter.com/yk3Zm1ulGp— Catherine Silver (@CatSilverTV) January 2, 2023
“When we got to the park it was already dark and we started to see the flashlights of people climbing the outskirts of it,” said George Hayeck, who was visiting from Boston.
The attraction opened in 2015 and has “air-conditioning and stability control in every capsule,” according to the website. Each ride is 18 minutes long on The Wheel.
This outage comes months after 14-year-old Tyre Sampson fell to his death after slipping from his seat on the Orlando FreeFall thrill ride at ICON Park. The ride is owned by Slingshot Group.
Sampson was visiting Orlando on spring break from Missouri when he died. An investigation by the Florida Department of Agriculture determined changes made to the seat’s sensors caused the boy’s death.
An independent forensic engineering firm hired in the department’s investigation revealed the operator made “manual adjustments to the ride resulting in it being unsafe” and allowed the harness restraint opening to be “almost double” of the normal opening range, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said earlier this year.
ICON Park has not said what caused the power outage at the attraction.
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