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Glenwood Caverns incident one of at least a dozen in recreational settings across Colorado since 2010

Database collected by nonprofit organization shows incidents have led to serious injuries and one other death
amusement park rides
Posted at 12:22 PM, Sep 07, 2021

DENVER – Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park remains closed after a 6-year-old girl died on a ride Sunday evening. That incident is the latest in at least a dozen reported in Colorado up until 2017, according to a nonprofit created with the intent to help prevent amusement ride accidents.

While Safeparks is no longer actively engaged in researching these accidents, according to its website, data collected by the organization has been uploaded to RidesDatabase.org as a public service, which provides a glimpse of incidents at amusement parks and other recreational settings for the past 21 years, including approximately 8,300 “amusement device” accident reports from across the U.S.

In Colorado, those accidents include the following:

Broken bones after a fall from a climbing wall in Littleton

Two patrons climbed a wall at a family entertainment center in July 2010 when the auto-belay failed for one of the two, resulting in three broken bones in one foot.

Train derailment leaves 20 injured after traveling at high speed in Morrison

Twenty passengers suffered numerous injuries after a train layover was caused by approaching a curve at a high speed, estimated to be 12-17 miles per hour. Normal train speeds are 3-4 miles per hour.

A broken back after mountain coaster collides in Glenwood Springs

A 57-year-old woman ended with a broken back in August 2011 after the alpine coaster she was riding slammed into the one ahead of hers due to a failure to apply the break.

A substantial cut after a ziplining incident in Copper Mountain

A 29-year-old man ziplining on Copper Mountain in August 2012 sustained a "substantial cut” on his leg below the knee after he zipped onto the landing platform without a landing guide in place and without insuring the brake was set and the fail-safe was in position.

Elbow injury while entering a Zorb water ball in Westminster

A 40-year-old woman was attending a corporate training event in Westminster in September 2012 when she went inside a 10-foot diameter walking Zorb water ball. While using her feet to avoid the entrance hole in the ball, she lost her balance and fell inside the ball, landing on her elbow. The fall led to a hematoma to her elbow, which required surgery to remove bone fragments and repair tissues.

Foot injury after fall from climbing wall

A 20-year-old man in Colorado fell from a climbing wall in June 2013 after the caribiner failed. The man sustained a foot injury as a result of the fall.

Equipment failure leads to lower back injury in Denver

A 47-year-old man was riding in ride car at an amusement park in Denver in June 2013 when the car dropped and hit the ground. The car also skidded onto another car. The man experienced lower back pain as a result of the incident.

Inflatable slide is lifted by wind gusts in Littleton

A child suffered minor injuries and was taken to a hospital in May 2014 after a 22-foot-tall inflatable slide suddenly took flight when a gust of wind estimated at 30 mph lifted the slide and tumbled it about 300 feet across a park field. Two children were on the slide at the time that it took flight.

Fractured bones after collision on Durango zipline

A 55-year-old woman riding a zipline that someone else was currently on collided with the other person on July 2014 in Durango. The woman sustained a fractured pelvis and two fractured ribs.

Head injury at alpine gravity course in Winter Park

A 39-year-old woman was riding a car at the alpine gravity course in Winter Park in August 2014 at full speed through the ride’s warning zone when she crashed into another car and hit her face with another driver. The woman sustained a head injury.

Zipline crash results in minor head injury in Wolcott

In September 2015, a 67-year-old man was riding a zipline when the prusik knot brake rope did not work properly, causing him to crash into a dirt landing and a wood log. The man sustained a minor head injury.

Fractured leg from trampoline park in Colorado Springs

A 3-year-old girl ran on the trampoline of an adult and was double bounced, injuring her leg in the process and leading to a leg fracture on January 2017 in Colorado Springs.

Our partners at The Denver Post report Colorado recorded only one other fatality at an amusement park before Sunday’s incident in Glenwood Springs. A 14-year-old in Durango riding an attraction called the Sizzler in 2005 died from a heart attack shortly after the ride started, according to RidesDatabase.