An unfortunate accident inside a haunted house attraction in a Hong Kong theme park reportedly killed a 21-year-old, only identified by his surname Cheung.
Cheung entered the Halloween-themed “Buried Alive” ride at the Ocean Park, but was found unconscious nearly five minutes later. He was transported to a hospital, but was pronounced dead, according to the police.
The amusement park officials and the local media believe a moving coffin hit him. Ocean Park Chief Executive Matthias Li also expressed “deep sorrow” over the tragedy. However, the exact details of the incident remain unclear.
The victim was “believed to have entered into an area for mechanical operations that was not open to visitors and was hit by a mechanical part,” the authorities said in a statement.
According to the park’s website, “Buried Alive” is part of a Halloween festival at Hong Kong’s largest amusement park that allows visitors to “experience being buried alive alone, before fighting their way out of their dark and eerie grave.”
Apparently, thrill seekers are supposed to get inside a coffin, which is actually a 4.5m-long and 2.5m-high slide, and then slip inside the haunted house to experience “a rocky maze filled with dreadful ghouls.”
The authorities claimed the ride was completely safe and Cheung allegedly wandered off into the restricted staff maintenance section, where he was struck by “moving parts of the slide.”
Hong Kong police are currently investigating the incident and the park officials have closed the haunted house attraction for the time being.
Another visitor, 35-year-old Roy Chan, told South China Morning Post he found the attraction to be safe, though he said the park could place signs to warn people to keep off the maintenance area.
“The park could also have put some staff in ghost costumes and asked them to stay at the off-limit areas,” he suggested. “The staff could entertain the guests on one hand and the guests would know they are not supposed to pass through those areas.”
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