HONG KONG: A 21-year-old died inside a Halloween-themed attraction at Hong Kong’s Ocean Park on Saturday afternoon (Sep 16), according to local media reports citing police.
The attraction called Buried Alive – which consists of a haunted house and a slide – has been closed to facilitate an investigation into the incident.
According to South China Morning Post (SCMP) quoting the park’s spokeswoman, the man named Cheung had ventured “by mistake” into a backstage area of the attraction after he finished the slide and entered the haunted house.
The area where he was found was supposed to be “a place for our staff to carry out some maintenance work”, said Eva Au Yeung Yee-wah, the park’s director of events and entertainment.
The department believed Cheung was hit by “moving parts of the slide” in an area normally closed off to visitors and that the accident did not involve mechanical failure, according to SCMP.
Police said they were alerted at about 2pm on Saturday and confirmed that a man surnamed Cheung had been certified dead at Ruttonjee Hospital.
He was reportedly knocked unconscious in the staff-only area, reported RTHK.
Au-yeung said the case was under investigation. The park has closed the attraction to facilitate an investigation into the incident by the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department.
Priscilla Leung, chairwoman of the Legislative Council’s justice and legal services panel, believed the park had more to answer for than saying Cheung entered the area “by mistake”.
Ocean Park CEO Matthias Li said medics at the park had administered first aid to Cheung and called an ambulance as soon as they found him.
A spokesman added it was saddened by the accident.
“We will get to the bottom of the exact cause, and ensure that this particular attraction as well as all others are maintained and operated at the highest level of safety. We’ll have to go through and investigate, and do a thorough review,” RTHK cited Todd Hougland, executive director for operation and entertainment, as saying.
The park is not allowed to reopen the attraction until the department lifts its suspension order.
According to Ocean Park’s website, the Buried Alive ride was “temporarily suspended”.
The death marked the first fatal accident at the attraction since it was introduced in 2001, reported SCMP.