Following an investigation by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA), the DreamWorks Water Park at American Dream was deemed safe to reopen nearly a week after four people were injured after a large decorative helicopter fell from the ceiling and into a pool.
According to DCA spokesperson Lisa Ryan, the state, in collaboration with a third-party engineering firm, performed a two-part inspection that looked at all components of the helicopter that fell as well as visual inspections of all suspended themed features located through the indoor water park.
The review found that damage on the wire rope used to suspend the helicopter was a “direct contributing factor to the cause of the wire rope’s failure” and the decoration has since been permanently removed, Ryan said.
Additionally, inspectors determined the current remaining features were structurally sound and safe for continued use, according to Ryan.
“Upon review of the reports and the engineering firm’s findings, DCA has authorized the abatement of violations issued from the State Construction Office and from the Amusement Ride Safety Unit. All attractions located in the waterpark at American Dream have been released by DCA to continue operation to the public,” Ryan said.
The DCA also noted that the Meadowlands megamall “has been cooperative throughout the process to ensure the waterpark met all safety regulations to reopen to the public.”
Immediately after the incident, which occurred just after 3 p.m. Feb. 19, the water park was evacuated and closed by mall management.
— American Dream (@americandream) February 19, 2023
Authorities have said none of the injuries were life-threatening, but did not release the ages of the individuals harmed.
After the DCA ordered the park to stay shut pending completion of an inspection, American Dream said it would “remain in lockstep with the state” and “coordinate on the investigation to ensure all safety regulations and requirements are met before reopening.”
According to mall spokesperson Jessica Griffin, the attraction reopened Feb. 25, having met all safety regulations and requirements following “a rigorous investigation and review conducted with the state, county department of health and independent engineering consultants.”
She added, “We are excited to welcome guests back to the Water Park and look forward to seeing visitors enjoying the facility.”r