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Published: Monday, 7/22/2013

Six Flags investigating roller coaster death


DALLAS  — Six Flags Entertainment Corp. is using “both internal and external experts” to investigation the roller coaster accident that killed a woman at its Dallas-area amusement park, the company’s president said today.

Jim Reid-Anderson said during a conference call to discuss the company’s earnings that Six Flags officials were joining the call with “heavy hearts.” He offered no details about the investigation but said Six Flags was using experts from within and outside the company.

A message left with a company spokeswoman wasn’t immediately returned.

Rosa Ayala-Goana was killed when she fell Friday from the Texas Giant roller coaster at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington, a western suburb of Dallas. Witnesses told authorities that Ayala-Goana expressed concern moments before the 14-story ride began that the safety bar had not completely engaged.

The Tarrant County medical examiner’s office confirmed today that the 52-year-old Dallas resident was the victim in the accident, and that she suffered “multiple traumatic injuries” during the fall.

A man who identified himself as Ayala-Goana’s son declined comment today when approached at her home.

Anderson, also Six Flags’ chairman and CEO, said the ride would remain closed until officials were certain it was safe to ride again. He also said they were providing support to the family “as best as we can.”

A spokesman for the Texas Department of Insurance, the oversight agency for many kinds of inspections done in Texas, didn’t immediately return a message today. But a spokesman said Sunday that Six Flags was in compliance with state regulations that require proof of an annual safety inspection by a certified engineer. The agency also said the park was in compliance with rules requiring amusement ride operators to have $1 million liability insurance on each ride.

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