HomeNewsMultiple Injuries Reported After Decorative Helicopter Falls into New Jersey Water Park Pool

Multiple Injuries Reported After Decorative Helicopter Falls into New Jersey Water Park Pool

by TK Sanders
(Photo by KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images)

A decorative helicopter structure fell from the ceiling of a water park in New Jersey’s American Dream mall, injuring four people. Officials said the structure, which had been affixed to the roof as decoration, fell in a swimming pool.

State troopers responded to the DreamWorks Water Park in East Rutherford just after 3 p.m. Sunday, February 19. Reports of visitors “injured by a decorative prop that had fallen from the ceiling” prompted the response, the New Jersey State Police said in a statement.

The venue was evacuated and an investigation will take place, New Jersey State Police Sergeant Philip Curry told the news outlet.

Eyewitness Angel Sanchez tweeted: “Scary time at Dreamworks water park at American Dream Mall! A large helicopter display fell on to a kiddy pool and slide area! Chaos soon after. The sound was scary then the screaming from parents and kids. [Police] told us to evacuate soon after. Hopefully no injuries. If so miracle!”

The four injured patrons suffered non-life-threatening injuries. One person went to a local hospital, while the remaining three received treatment on the scene for minor injuries.

The American Dream mall said in a statement that it would conduct a “thorough investigation into this incident to ensure the park meets all safety regulations as required.”

“The safety of our guests is our highest priority,” mall representatives said. No further details were provided due to patient privacy laws.

The decorative helicopter is just one of many enormous installation at the American Dream mall

The American Dream mall opened in late 2019 to both fanfare and uncertainty. Planning for the mall began in the late 1990s before online shopping completely transformed the retail landscape. After endless fits and starts, and billions of dollars in development, the mall opened as the second largest retail structure in the country.

Built on swampland, the American Dream showcases 3 million square feet of leasable space dedicated to more than a dozen entertainment attractions. Some of the attractions include a 16-story indoor ski slope, roller coaster, water park and over 400 retail, food, and specialty shops.

The problem with megastructures like the American Dream mall is that it needs to be firing on all cylinders at all times in order to feel special to customers. Dilapidated retail spaces with closures, vacancies, and malfunctioning equipment are sure signs of downward trends. When the mall opened over three years ago, one credit firm even predicted that the American Dream could close its doors by 2022, citing the overall decline of the entire industry.

The business obviously survived both the foreclosure prediction and the devastating effects of COVID-19. But it will need to ensure customer safety and satisfaction if it will continue to operate.