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1 dead, 3 critically injured after amusement park raft flips

Steven Hall, DCNF

A raft overturned on a water ride at an Iowa amusement park on Saturday, killing one person and critically injuring three, officials said.

A circular raft with six people was flipped at approximately 7:35 p.m. on the Raging River water ride at Adventureland in Altoona, Iowa, park officials said in a statement. The officials didn’t release the names of the victims.

Park officials said the ride was last inspected one day before the accident and was in “sound working order.” This is the second fatality on the Raging River in the last five years, according to the Des Moines Register.

“Adventureland is saddened to learn of the passing of one guest involved in the Raging River accident,” Adventureland said in a second statement. “This investigation is ongoing and the ride remains closed. Adventureland is working closely with both state and local authorities, and would like to thank them again for their efforts.”

“It will remain closed for a thorough inspection,” the park’s statement said. “Our thoughts are with the affected families at this time.”

Steve Booher, 68, was an Adventureland employee killed in 2016 while helping riders out of rafts when he fell onto the Raging River’s conveyor belt, according to the Des Moines Register. He fractured his skull and injured his brain, which caused him to die four days later, according to the Des Moines Register.

The Iowa Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined the park a maximum of $4,500 due to Booher’s accident, according to the Des Moines Register.

There have been multiple incidents of deaths or injuries at theme parks in recent weeks. A college student was put in a coma on Tuesday after getting into an altercation with a security guard at Coney Island, Brooklyn.

A woman died after riding a rollercoaster at the Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari theme park in Santa Claus, Indiana, on June 5, and an Australian theme park operator was fined $2.5 million after an incident that left four people dead.

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