Boy, 5, critical after falling from "tea cup" ride

Posted March 30, 2010 By Indystar.com tea cup ride An indoor amusement park where a 5-year-old Indianapolis boy was critically injured has been closed for not having the correct permit.   Xscape, 3919 Lafayette Road, did not have an amusement and entertainment permit, according to John Erickson, spokesman for the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. That department includes the office of the State Fire Marshal, which issues the permits.   Permits for rides at Xscape also had expired at the end of the year and had not been renewed, Erickson said.   The state plans further inspections of the facility’s rides, and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is conducting an investigation into the Friday night incident in which a boy was critically injured on a ride.   Friday, Denzel Jennings was hurt while on a teacup ride, according to an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department report. The report said the child hit his head and fell out of the ride but did not say what caused the accident.   Jennings was in critical condition Monday at Riley Hospital for Children. He was described as unconscious and breathing after the accident about 8:40 p.m. Friday, the report said.   Xscape is in a former department store at Lafayette Square Mall. Officials with Xscape and the mall did not return phone calls asking for comment Monday. Antoinette Marion, Denzel’s mother, who was with him during the incident, declined to comment.   The incident falls under the jurisdiction of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, the agency that inspects rides at outdoor amusement parks and at the Indiana State Fair midway. The agency should have been notified within four hours of the accident but was not, according to spokesman John Erickson.   “We have no record of them having contacted us,” Erickson said. “We’re certainly going to educate them. Sometimes they don’t know that they need to notify us properly.”     Xscape closed the ride after the accident, and a Homeland Security inspector was expected to examine the ride today.   The ride, in which people sit in rotating seats styled to look like teacups, rotates around a central axis. Each cup has a gate that is supposed to hold riders in place.   A plaque on the ride, shown in a picture provided by the boy’s family, showed the ride’s manufacturer was Zamperla, an amusement ride company based in Italy with U.S. headquarters in New Jersey.   The police report did not describe the condition of the ride.

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