New Jersey Park Decoration Fell From Damaged Rope, Hurt 4

New Jersey Park Decoration Fell From Damaged Rope, Hurt 4
Workers clean the installation of the Dream Works Water park at the American Dream mall located in East Rutherford, N.J., on Dec. 19, 2019. (Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images)
The Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.—A damaged rope led to the plunge of a decorative helicopter into a swimming pool at a New Jersey water park last weekend, injuring four people, state investigators said.

Just outside New York City, the DreamWorks Water Park at the American Dream complex in East Rutherford reopened Saturday after being closed for four days after the decoration fell from the ceiling last Sunday afternoon. One person was taken to a hospital and three others were treated at the park, all for injuries that were not life-threatening, officials said.

The state Department of Community Affairs, which oversees New Jersey amusement parks, investigated with an engineering firm, which said “damage found on the wire rope used to suspend the helicopter was a direct contributing factor to the cause of the wire rope’s failure,” department spokesperson Lisa Ryan said.

The helicopter was permanently removed, all other remaining park features were deemed safe, and the cease-operations order issued by the Amusement Ride Safety unit was lifted, officials said.

The complex is about 13 miles west of New York City in the Meadowlands Sports Complex. The mall said in a statement earlier in the week that it was reopening “having met all safety regulations and requirements following a rigorous investigation and review” by state and county officials and independent engineering consultants.

“We are excited to welcome guests back to the water park and look forward to seeing visitors enjoying the facility this weekend,” the statement said.