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12-year-old boy dies after falling from rock-climbing wall at his birthday party

CHICAGO (June 26, 2019)- A boy tragically passed away this week after falling from a rock-climbing wall at Altitude Trampoline Park in North Carolina.

Matthew Lu was climbing the rock wall during his birthday party at the Altitude Trampoline Park in Lowell, North Carolina when he fell about 10 to 15 feet. When paramedics arrived on scene, Matthew was unable to move and barely breathing. He was airlifted to an area hospital where he later died.

Paramedics told Local 12 News they have responded to Altitude Trampoline Park four times this year and say there have most likely been more injuries where people have taken themselves to the hospital.

The park has remained closed since the incident as officials investigate what happened.

While there are no statistics on rock-climbing deaths specifically, OSHA has reported that the most common height for fall-related deaths in the workplace is from 5-15 feet. This distance of fall takes up around 25% of all fall-related deaths.

Trampoline-related falls at amusement parks are just as common and serious, if not more common, than falls from rock-climbing walls. A trauma surgeon who has treated around 100 patients with severe injuries sustained at these parks claims they are “the types of injuries you’d see with high velocity motor vehicle crashes over 90 miles per hour.”

More than 100,000 people are estimated to visit trampoline parks each year, and almost 15,000 serious injuries from trampoline parks have been reported in the last four years. Under current laws, North and South Carolina do not inspect or regulate trampoline parks and there are no regulations on opening a facility. However after this fatal incident, lawmakers have said they will work to change those laws and force parks to get third-party, monthly safety inspections to stay open.

 

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