State report details 17 safety violations at Adventureland’s Raging River on the day of deadly accident

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ALTOONA, Iowa — Four-and-a-half months after a tragedy at Adventureland, state officials have released a report detailing what was done wrong that may have led to a boy’s death.

Inspectors with the Iowa Division of Labor found 17 violations were present on the Raging River on July 3rd, the day the Jaramillo family’s raft flipped.

Eleven-year-old Michael Jaramillo and his older brother became trapped underwater for several minutes. Michael didn’t survive and his brother spent a month in the hospital recovering. Their father also suffered extensive injuries requiring surgery.

Among the violations documented by inspectors:

  • Inadequate air pressures in raft bladders
  • Rafts were patched using unapproved material, meaning Flex Seal
  • Weirs, or dams, to regulate water levels were replaced with parts that the manufacturer did not approve
  • One of the weirs had come loose
  • The ride operator and attendant weren’t adequately trained
  • The evacuation training was inadequate and the evacuation access was blocked by the set-up for a fireworks display

The Division of Labor’s safety order also states the Raging River cannot legally be operated again until 11 specific issues have been addressed.

Adventureland’s lawyer, Guy Cook, responded to the safety report with a statement. In it, he said:

The recent order issued by the State inspector contains factual errors, comments on matters unrelated to the accident, and most importantly fails to acknowledge the issues cited in the order, if true, would have been in existence when the state inspector signed off on the ride following an inspection the day before the accident.

Guy Cook, lawyer representing Adventureland

The statement references an inspection report obtained by Radio Iowa. The report, which was conducted a day prior to the Jaramillos’ deadly accident, states that the ride was up to code.

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