Authorities Probing Coney Island Amusement Park Accident That Injured Boy
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Police are investigating how a 5-year-old boy was able to fall off a kiddie ride on Coney Island, injuring his leg and head.
As CBS 2′s Jessica Schneider reported Thursday, Pradipta Sutradhar had already undergone one surgery for injuries he sustained after he was able to get out of the Sea Serpent Roller Coaster at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park on Wednesday evening.
Investigators said it happened when Sutradhar, who was riding the kiddie coaster with his 7-year-old sister, got scared mid-ride and tried to get off.
“I basically saw a little boy who was wedged on the railing and the ground,” witness Leroy Mace said.
The boy’s parents speak limited English, but their daughter told Schneider what happened to her brother.
“They said that he’s OK and everything is going fine,” Aparajita Sutradhar said.
She said she visited her brother at Bellevue Hospital, where he was taken after getting injured around 7 p.m. on Wednesday.
Aparajita said she tried to hold onto her brother’s hand before he jumped off the roller coaster.
“When he was about to jump off I told him not to jump off, but he jumped off and I holded his hand and I couldn’t hold it that much and he fell and the wheels hitted here,” she told Schneider. “He just stood up. I didn’t even know how did he do that.”
The ride operator said the boy met the 36-inch height requirement, but still managed to slip between the bars.
His sister said a worker at Deno’s Wonder Wheel warned him to stay inside the car.
“The man was like ‘hey hey, don’t go, you’re going to fall.’ But he didn’t listen and he thought that he would land safe,” Aparajita told Schneider.
“The investigation is showing that the lap bar was securely fastened and he just wiggled his way out from underneath it,” said Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park vice president Dennis Vourderis.
The boy suffered a broken left femur and cuts to the leg and head, officials said.
“Our staff did everything they had to do in order to administer first aid,” Vourderis said.
“A lot of people were working hard to get him out. They got him out,” Aparajita said.
Pradipta’s concerned mother stayed by his bedside at the pediatric ICU on Thursday.
“She was crying but now. I told her not to cry. If you cry you’ll get sick,” Aparajita told Schneider. “Yes, she was very worried.”
Pradipta will have to undergo at least one more surgery before he’s released from the hospital, Schneider reported.
The Department of Buildings is also investigating.
“Our inspectors have conducted an initial inspection on the ride involved in the incident and found no defects with the equipment,” Buildings Department spokeswoman Kelly Magee said.
Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park has about 17 kiddie rides and four adult rides. The 150-foot-high Wonder Wheel is an iconic part of Coney Island, and has been in operation since 1920.
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