May 10, 1984  
Release # 84-031

Washington, D. C. -- After a thorough investigation of an accident involving the "Enterprise" amusement ride, on October 17, 1983, at the Texas State Fair in Dallas, in which one rider died and at least three persons were hospitalized, the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced an interim corrective action plan for mobile "Enterprise" rides operating in the United States.

The vote was 3 to 1 to accept the corrective action plan. Commissioners Stuart M. Statler, Terrence M. Scanlon and Saundra Brown Armstrong voted for the plan. CPSC Chairman Nancy Harvey Steorts dissented (dissent attached).

The Enterprise ride is one of the most popular amusement rides in this country. The incident in Texas occurred when one car of the Enterprise separated from the sweep arm of the ride and fell onto the midway of the Fair. The ride was operated by Continental Park Attractions and manufactured by Heinr, Wilhelm Huss & Company of West Germany.

The corrective action, which is to be implemented by Huss Trading Corporation in conjunction with owners of 6 similar mobile Enterprise rides operating in the United States, would include upgrading key structural components of the rides to bring them up to the latest manufacturing design.

The plan will require intensive inspections--on a daily, monthly, and annual basis-- by ride owners and operators, in an effort to detect early-on the presence of significant structural damage or other problems affecting the Enterprise ride so as to avert similar tragedies in the future.

The voluntary plan with the CPSC covers only mobile Enterprise rides (those transported from site to site) since the CPSC has no jurisdiction over rides permanently fixed to a site. However, the CPSC intends to provide information on this corrective action plan to all identified Huss Enterprise ride owners in this country in an effort to ensure total ride safety.

Additionally, State officials will be requested to assist in the monitoring of the interim plan for the Enterprise. Presently 23 States regulate the operation of amusement rides in some manner or another.

The Commission is continuing its investigation of the Dallas incident. Meanwhile, it will monitor inspections by the owners and take additional action where warranted.

The investigation to date has led to inspections of most of the mobile Huss Enterprise rides and uncovered a number of examples of structural and other cracks, inadequate re-welds, missing turn buckles, loose screws and incomplete inspections.

While not admitting the need for corrective action, the distributor of the ride, the Huss Trading Corporation of America, has agreed to work with the Commission in implementing the plan developed in cooperation with the Commission and the following mobile ride owners, Conklin Shows, West Palm Beach, Florida; Continental Park Attractions, East Karminsdale, New York; Foley and Burke Combined Shows, Redwood City, California; FunTastic Rides, Portland, Oregon; Klaesan Brothers, Ft. Pierce, Florida; Murphy Brothers Expo, Tulsa, Oklahoma; and James E. Strates Shows, Orlando, Florida.

In addition to the seven mobile units, there are 12 stationary Enterprise sites in the following locations: Brooklyn, New York; Sandusky, Ohio; Aurora, Ohio; Hershey, Pennsylvania; West Mifflin, Pennsylvania; Seattle, Washington; Wildwood, New Jersey; Haines City, Florida; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Warwick Neck, Rhode Island; Shakopee, Minnesota; and Kansas City, Missouri.

Further information on this corrective action plan can be obtained by calling the CPSC toll-free Hotline at 800-638-CPSC. The teletypewriter number for the hearing impaired is (301) 595-7054.

Picture of the agency Seal and location

Dissenting Opinion
Chairman Nancy Harvey Steorts
Corrective Action Plan
Enterprise Amusement Park Ride
May 9, 1984

I have voted against the interim corrective action plan for the Enterprise Amusement Park Ride because I believe that it does not provide sufficient safeguards for the American Consumer. I am particularly concerned that there is no secondary safety back-up system nor an adequate warning system to alert the operator in the event of a structural failure.

The staff investigation yielded four potential defects: 1) inadequate car strength and/or bearing block holders strength; 2) inadequate safety instructions for owners and operators; 3) inadequate notice of weight limit of passengers; and 4) inadequate inspection and maintenance. Three of these four defects are rectified by the plan approved by the Commission.

The most important potential defect, structural integrity, in my opinion, has not been adquately addressed by the corrective action plan.

The tragic death and injuries that occurred at the Dallas State Fair last Fall were a direct result of a structural failure. At this point it is not known whether this structual failure was the result of poor operation, maintenance or a design defect. The plan does include a requirement that certain stress points be made stronger but this does not satisfy my concern.

I believe that the manufacturer should add a back-up safety system and a warning system to address the risk of structural failure. In this era of technological advancement, I feel such a system can be developed and would thus provide adequate safety for the consumer.