CONEY RIDES UNSAFE

June 30, 2008 at 11:26 pm Leave a comment

Amusement rides on property owned by the developer planning to turn Coney Island into America’s biggest fairground are so dangerous, they should be closed down, an inspector told The Post.

Amusement-safety consultant Walt Reiss, asked by The Post to conduct checks at local funfairs, said that if it were up to him, he would padlock a fairground set up on land on Coney Island owned by developer Joseph Sitt.

“If I had to sign my name to this ride, I would shut it down,” said Reiss after looking at the Swingout ride, one of the featured attractions at Geren Rides, an amusement center run by a Georgia-based company.

Geren Rides’ owner, Glen Geren, said the carnival has had two official city inspections – with the most recent being only two weeks ago. An insurance company conducted a third inspection just last week, he said.

“We passed with no problems,” Geren said.

“Whoever is saying this is nuts,” he said. “We have been properly inspected, and those official inspectors said we were perfectly safe.”

A city Buildings Department spokeswoman yesterday said Geren Rides passed its inspections.

But Reiss, whose résumé includes training New York City inspectors, said he saw problems with other rides.

“The ‘Ring of Fire’ has serious problems with [support beams],” he said.

On the “Scrambler,” latches on safety bars were badly aligned, he said.

Stefan Friedman, a spokesman for Sitt’s real-estate company, said, “Our tenant has assured us he has all permits on site.”

By PERRY CHIARAMONTE and ADAM NICHOLS

New York Post

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