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Ky. teen s feet severed while on thrill ride

Limbs cut above ankles at Kentucky Six Flags amusement park, officials say

LOUISVILLE, Ky. Six Flags has shut down four thrill rides at parks around the country after a gruesome accident at an amusement park in Louisville.

A 13-year-old girl's feet were severed just above the ankles Thursday as she rode the Superman Tower of Power ride, park officials said. The ride lifts passengers 177 feet straight up, then drops 154 feet, reaching a speed of 54 mph, according to the park's Web site.

Investigators from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, which inspects amusement park rides, returned to Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom on Friday to examine the ride, said Bill Clary, a spokesman for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

The accident happened around 4:45 p.m., Six Flags spokeswoman Wendy Goldberg said. It was unclear at what point during the ride the girl was injured, Goldberg said.

The girl was taken to a hospital, but her name was not released and her condition was unavailable Friday morning.

Six Flags has shut down similar rides at parks in St. Louis; Gurnee, Ill.; and near Washington, D.C., as a safety precaution, Goldberg said.

Six Flags Over Texas, near Dallas, also has a Superman Tower of Power ride, but it is not the same ride, Goldberg said.

There were no reports of injuries on the ride before Thursday, Goldberg said.

"We're conducting an investigation now," Goldberg said. "Millions of people have safely ridden this ride in our parks."

The accident led Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. to shut down and inspect drop tower rides at five of its amusement parks, company spokeswoman Stacy Frole said.

Frole said the company spoke with the maker of the ride and then decided to inspect its similar rides as a precaution.

The five rides that will be shut down are at Kings Island near Cincinnati; Canada's Wonderland, in Toronto; Kings Dominion in Doswell, Va.; Carowinds, in Charlotte, N.C.; and Great America in Santa Clara, Calif.

Intamin, a Swiss company, made both rides, said Craig Ross, a spokesman for Cedar Fair.

"We're going to keep these things down until we're certain it's safe," Ross said. "We'll wait and see."

An e-mail message sent to Intamin was not immediately returned Friday morning.

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