Dept. of Labor to investigate safety of Skyride

Posted at 7:25 PM, Sep 14, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-14 20:25:19-04

TULSA – A federal investigation into the death of a Skyride worker continues after a maintenance cage broke this weekend.

The Skyride has been in Tulsa for 50 years and the Director of Safety and Licenses at the State Labor Department, Jim Duck, says it has always passed safety inspections.

But concerns were raised this past weekend when a man died while working on the Skyride, prompting the Dept. of Labor's OSHA federal workers to investigate.

Tulsa firefighters say two workers were standing in a cart and wearing work harnesses while replacing wheels on the Skyride when their cart got loose and crashed to the ground. The equipment failure caused both men to fall and become trapped in their harnesses. 

Rescue crews say they had to perform CPR on one of the men who suffered a traumatic head injury and went into cardiac arrest. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital. 

With the Tulsa State Fair coming up, the Oklahoma Department of Labor says they'll inspect the ride before the fair starts in two weeks.

"When they go up there they will make sure it passes inspection before we will issue a certificate for them to open up for operation," says Duck.

The state's safety director says all amusement rides in Oklahoma have to follow certain regulations.

"There is the Oklahoma Amusement Ride and Safety Act, which operators in the state have to follow," says Duck.

Six inspectors are scheduled to inspect more than 50 rides at the fair, and the director says that's standard procedure.

"We usually show up four days prior to the fair starting, and then we start the inspection process for the rides as they show up to make sure they are in compliance," says Duck.

He says they want you to feel safe going to the fair.

"We know that public is relying on us to insure that these rides are safe and that when they allow their kids to participate that they're in compliance," says Duck.

As of Monday, the man’s name has not been released.

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