A man has died after a sickening 50-foot plunge from a fairground after seemingly climbing free of its safety bar.
The man, whose name was not released, was seen on video "just hanging" from the Sky Ride at the Lagoon Amusement Park in Farmington, Utah.
Onlookers said that the man "looked calm" and didn’t appear to be making any effort to get back into the gondola.
"We’re still trying to figure out why he ended up doing that," said Farmington Police Chief Wayne Hansen. He added that toxicology tests would be conducted as part of an autopsy.
Authorities haven't released the name of the 32-year-old man, who fell about 50 feet from the ski-lift type ride, which carries visitors across the amusement park.
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The ride has a safety bar which prevents passengers from getting out of the chair while it’s in motion.
"That’s part of what we checked, and it was functioning as it should," Chief Hansen said.
"It would appear he did something to get around that."
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He added the man was alone on the ride but that family members had accompanied him to the park.
Hansen said park management has been cooperating with the police investigation and said he was sure they would also do their own "own independent look into things".
He went on: "It’s really a matter of what he was doing and why, and some of it we may never know."
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The first emergency calls about the incident were placed around 6pm on Saturday, August 15. The man was transported via helicopter to University of Utah Hospital in a critical condition but sadly died early on Monday.
Adam Leishman, a spokesman for the park, said that the rides are inspected before the start of every working day and that safety information was "either printed or said verbally," for visitors before the boarded.
"Our hearts go out to that man's family and friends, and our guests and our employees that witnessed the incident," he added.
John Gleason, a spokesman for the Utah Department of Transportation, said the Utah Passenger Ropeway Safety Committee has jurisdiction over the Sky Ride.
He said that they had been in touch with park managers "but at this point it looks like a police investigation".
The horrifying incident "doesn’t appear to involve a malfunction of a mechanical, electrical or structural component," he added.
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