ICON Park attractions, The Wheel (L), Orlando SlingShot (M) and Orlando FreeFall (R), are shown in Orlando on Thursday. AP
Sheriff's officials and emergency crews responded to a call late on Thursday at Icon Park, which is located in the city's tourist district along International Drive. The boy fell from the Orlando Free Fall ride, which opened late last year.
Orange County Sheriff John Mina on Friday identified the teen as Tyre Sampson, who was visiting central Florida from Missouri with a friend's family. Detectives investigating the death will look into whether it was intentional or accidental, the sheriff said.
"It appears to be just a terrible tragedy,” Mina said. "We will see moving forward what that results in.”
Sampson was taken to a hospital, where he died, sheriff's officials said. No additional details about the teen or the incident were immediately released.
A video aired by NBC's "Today" show Friday morning appears to show passengers on the ride discussing issues with a seat restraint Thursday night. The ride then began 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 Free Fall ride and an adjacent ride, the Sling Shot, have been closed indefinitely, Stine said. His company operates the two rides at Icon Park.
"We are cooperating with all other investigations at this time to get to the bottom of what happened,” Stine said.
Stine said there had been no issues reported previously with the Free Fall ride, which opened over the holidays.
Employees and witnesses who were interviewed by detectives told them that everything appeared to be normal. "Everything seemed to be OK and normal," Mina said.
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