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Rock wall law could be revised

Rep. Graham says climbing walls need state inspections.
Thursday, October 30, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 12:07 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Rep. Chuck Graham is challenging what he calls a loophole in a state amusement park statute that doesn’t require all climbing walls to be subject to inspections or to have safety cables.

Graham announced Wednesday that he intends to file legislation on Dec. 1 that would add climbing walls to the list of rides requiring inspection under Missouri’s amusement park statute. The current law only requires rides with mechanical devices to be inspected.

“I strongly believe these walls should be inspected and that they should have to have safety cables,” Graham said in a press release.

On July 15, Christine Ewing died from head and back injuries after she fell about 25 feet when a cable snapped on the rock wall she was climbing at a Mid-Missouri Mavericks game. It was discovered after her fall that the safety cable on the mechanical pulley system had rust and duct tape at the point of the break. The wall’s owner, Marcus Floyd, was indicted by a grand jury last week on charges of first-degree involuntary manslaughter.

“What concerns me is that Mr. Floyd tried to set up the climbing wall at the Ashland Fall Festival after this tragic accident without safety cables,” Graham said in a press release. “And unfortunately, that could be legal under the current law.”

The wall Floyd had brought to the festival did not have a mechanical pulley system. City officials would not allow Floyd’s climbing wall to open to the public, however, because his insurance coverage was not in order.


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