A 13-year-old girl whose feet were severed in an accident on an amusement park ride is in stable condition in a Nashville, Tenn., hospital, her family said in a written statement Tuesday.
Kaitlyn Lasitter, whose name had not previously been released by officials, was riding the Superman Tower of Power ride Thursday at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville when a cable broke loose on the ride, cutting off the girl’s feet above the ankles, authorities said.
State officials were investigating the incident.
“The parents of Kaitlyn Lasitter would like to acknowledge everyone across the country that have been supporting their daughter with many positive thoughts and prayers over the last six days,” according to the statement, which was issued through Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Authorities and the hospital have declined to say whether her feet were reattached. The statement included a plea for privacy for the girl’s family, and the family has instructed the hospital not to comment further.
Discrepancy in statements
The family’s statement said no one from the theme park had contacted them since the accident, as park representatives had told reporters. “At no time has any representative of the theme park been in touch with members of the family,” the statement said.
Wendy Goldberg, a spokeswoman for Six Flags in New York, disputed that account. Goldberg said two representatives from Kentucky Kingdom went to the hospital following the accident and stayed for “some time” before the Lasitter family asked them to leave. She would not say who the representatives were.
“We are deeply saddened by this incident and of course have genuine concern for the well-being of the entire family. We stand ready to be of any assistance we possibly can,” said Kentucky Kingdom spokeswoman Carolyn McClean.
The ride passed inspection in each of the last four years, according to records. The ride lifts passengers 177 feet straight up, then drops them nearly the same distance at speeds reaching 54 miles per hour.
Six Flags shut down similar rides at parks in St. Louis; Gurnee, Ill.; and near Washington as a safety precaution, Goldberg said. Those rides remained closed Tuesday and were to undergo safety inspections.
Six Flags Over Texas, near Dallas, also has a Superman Tower of Power, but it is not the same ride, Goldberg said.
Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. of Sandusky, Ohio, also shut down drop tower rides at five of its amusement parks for inspection after the accident.