Former Adventureland worker alleges rides had known safety flaws
A former Adventureland worker alleges that the Iowa amusement park's staff knew of safety deficiencies on multiple rides in the years before an accident on the Raging River ride killed a boy last July.
- That's according to an audio recording, obtained by the Des Moines Register, between Melvin McCollum, a former rides manager, and the Iowa Division of Labor, which is investigating the 2021 fatal incident.
Why it matters: The statements, which an attorney for the Altoona amusement park's former owners denies, raise questions about the oversight of Adventureland and other parks in Iowa.
Catch up fast: Michael Jarmillo, 11, was on the river ride with his family when their raft capsized July 3.
- A state inspector had given the ride a clean bill of health the day before the accident.
- But — following the accident — inspectors determined it had multiple safety violations or issues that must be addressed before it could reopen.
State of play: The Krantz family, which owned Adventureland for decades, sold the park to Palace Entertainment in December.
- The Raging River ride won't return this 2022 season and may be permanently closed, the park's new owners announced last month.
The latest: McCollum's description of deficiencies on other rides at the park includes one that leaked oil and caught fire, one propped up by 2-by-4s and a roller coaster where bolts would frequently come out.
- A state inspector said issues described by McCollum could have been easily missed because operators have time to prepare for preopening inspections, the Register reports.
What they're saying: McCollum was a seasonal employee who never worked in maintenance, Guy Cook, an attorney representing the Krantz family, told the Register.
- McCollum was not working for the park at the time of last year's accident. He had not been invited back for the 2021 season after a family member who also worked at the park was fired, Cook told the Register.
Of note: McCollum couldn’t be reached for comment on Cook’s statements by the Register or Axios.
More Des Moines stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Des Moines.