This past Sunday tragedy struck when a prop helicopter fell into the pool at the DreamWorks themed indoor water park at the American Dream shopping mall in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Four guests were said to have been hurt, but none with serious injuries.
Video was taken of the incident and posted on @Kiimera via Twitter:
American dream waterpark (indoor) mall..moments after decor plane falls. No injuries, mad panic. We’re safe. #americandream #indoorwaterpark pic.twitter.com/siDKABP7Tn— Miss Markowitz (@Kiimera) February 19, 2023
One of the witnesses was 16 year old Johnny Vas who had been at the park with his mother, younger sister and some friends. When he was being interviewed by CBS he stated his reaction to what had happened. He felt “Shocked, frightened because I didn’t know where my family was. So I didn’t know if they got hurt, if anyone else got hurt.“
The prop helicopter was part of the Penguins of Madagascar themed water slide. It is currently unknown what caused the prop to fall from its display. American Dream released a statement saying that the park will be closed for the foreseeable future while an investigation is underway in order to “ensure the park meets all safety regulations as required.“
With the size and weight of the prop helicopter the damage could have definitely been a lot worse. Had someone been directly underneath the prop they could have sustained critical injury or even death.
While it is a shame what guests won’t be able to enjoy the water park for some time it is better to ensure that no such accidents happen again. With a large amount of other DreamWorks themed props (Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar etc.) it is best to make sure that these other, much larger and heavier props, don’t fall or injured anyone else.
Do you believe it was the correct decision to close the entire park for an extended period? When do you think they will re-open?
Sources: ABC, CBS
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