Icon Park: teenager dies after falling from Orlando FreeFall ride

Florida ride stands 131 metres tall and is billed as world's tallest free-standing drop tower

Icon Park attractions, with the Orlando FreeFall on the right, in Orlando, Florida. Orlando Sentinel via AP

A 14-year-old boy in the southern US state of Florida fell to his death from an amusement park ride that is taller than the Statue of Liberty along a busy street in the heart of Orlando's tourist district.

Police and emergency crews responded to a call late on Thursday at Icon Park, where the teenager fell from the Orlando FreeFall ride.

He was taken to hospital, where he died, authorities said. No additional details about the teenager or the incident were immediately released.

A video aired by NBC's Today programme on Friday morning appears to show passengers on the ride discussing issues with a seat restraint on Thursday night. The ride then begins its trek up the tower before someone is later seen falling from the ride.

“We are absolutely saddened and devastated by what happened and our hearts go out this young man's family,” John Stine, sales director with the Slingshot Group which owns the ride, told The Associated Press on Friday morning.

The FreeFall ride and an adjacent ride, the Sling Shot, have been closed indefinitely, Mr Stine said.

“We are co-operating with all other investigations at this time to get to the bottom of what happened,” Mr Stine said.

He said there had been no issues reported previously with the FreeFall ride, which opened over the winter holidays last year.

The ride stands 131 metres tall is billed as the world's tallest free-standing drop tower, the park's website says.

As it rises in the air, the ride, which can hold 30 passengers, rotates around the tower and then tilts to face the ground before free falling at speeds of more than 120 kilometres per hour, the website said.

The ride has an over-the-shoulder restraint harness, with two hand grips at the chest level, that goes over the rider automatically.

The Orlando FreeFall ride at Icon Park in Orlando. AP
Updated: March 25, 2022, 4:26 PM