Big Splash Accident Still Under Investigation
Tuesday, June 19th 2007, 8:28 AM CDT
The investigation is ongoing into a recent accident at Tulsaâ€™s Big Splash Water Park. A section of the Master Blaster water ride collapsed last month. An 11-year-old girl was on the ride at the time, but was not hurt. The News On 6â€™s Chris Wright reports park managers are not saying much about the accident, but the park's owner says if the state deemed it necessary, she would be open to more inspections.
The sun was back out Tuesday, and so were the swimmers at Big Splash. Many parents didn't seem too concerned a week and a half after the Master Blaster accident.
"We thought about it this morning, and I was talking to my friend, and we thought it's bound to not happen at the same park twice in the same summer," parent Jennifer Smith said.
Others say the Master Blaster is just one of many problems at the park.
"The rest seems to be under poor maintenance and poor construction, and it's just going downhill," said parent Amanda Vance.
To prevent the Master Blaster from going down again, park officials say its manufacturer is thoroughly inspecting the ride, and the part that collapsed was taken to Texas to be examined.
"We want to find the cause, and get to the bottom of it, and make sure it does not happen at Big Splash again," Big Splash owner Loretta Murphy said.
Big Splash says its staff members continue to perform daily inspections on all of its rides. Unlike amusement parks, state inspectors currently do not perform routine inspections at water parks. But owner Loretta Murphy says she wouldn't mind the help.
"The state does not require that state inspectors come in, but we would be more than happy, we'd love to see that happen," she said.
But sadly, even added inspections might be too little, too late.
"Unfortunately, it's one of the only places in Tulsa, only water park in Tulsa, that you can come and take your kids, but I think that's not going to matter, and some of the private pools are going to be getting more business," said Vance.
The Department of Labor officials say they would like to take over the responsibility of inspecting water rides in Oklahoma. They say they have discussed the matter with the Attorney General's office, and believe they will be given the authority to perform inspections very soon.
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