DENVER (CBS4) – The investigation into how a 6 year old died riding the Haunted Mine Drop at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs is underway. Greg Johnson is the public safety manager for the State Division of Oil and Public Safety. He says while they see several injuries reported to their department every year, deaths are extremely rare.

“It could take days, weeks to get through the investigation, piece and gather information that we need to put together of a report of findings and that could take months,” Johnson said.

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(credit: CBS)

His department is responsible for regulating every ride at amusement parks in Colorado.

Currently, there are 200 permit holders, and some of them have up to 20 rides.

Johnson says The Haunted Mine Drop passed inspections every year since opening in 2017, including the most recent in June.

“The annual inspection just goes into great detail, the construction of the ride, are there any indications of failures of mechanical devices things like that,” he said.

While most drop rides use over-the-shoulder restraints, on the ride in question riders must be at least 46 inches tall and uses only a lap belt

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The rides designer Stan Checketts spoke about that decision in a YouTube video shortly after the ride opened.

(credit: Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park)

“What I did was make it safe enough that I could do a class 3 and have no shoulder. I don’t like banging, I don’t like that,” Checketts said while motioning to his head.

When it comes to the safety of that or any other ride design, Johnson says they simply make sure that each ride meets a set of national standards.

Checketts in that same interview was asked about his use of minimal restraints. He says its for the experience.

“It isn’t the speed. It’s the exposure,” he said.

According to the parks website they will reopen on Sept. 11, but state inspectors say they will keep the ride closed until their investigation is complete.

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County officials are not releasing the name of the young girl who died. She was visiting the park with her family from Colorado Springs.

Karen Morfitt