Archive for Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wichita City Council delays decision on inflatable rides

June 9, 2011

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— A Wichita company that offers inflatable rides can stay open for at least two more weeks while the City Council decides whether to let the firm keep its license.

The city revoked Moonwalks for Fun license in April because inspectors could find no proof that the business had the required liability insurance from early November until late March. The council said this week it would wait until June 21 to rule on the company's appeal, The Wichita Eagle reported Thursday.

Moonwalks owner Duane Zogleman told The Eagle that he did have liability insurance during that period.

A 5-year-old boy died March 22, 2010, after falling from an inflatable ride provided by Moonwalks for Fun to Pure Entertainment in Wichita. Authorities suspended Pure Entertainment's license for 90 days last year because the city said its rides had not been properly inspected.

Among questions being asked by council members was whether Moonwalks for Fun uses more inflatable rides in the city than have been inspected and listed on its license.

Moonwalks for Fun has been allowed to operate while its appeal is being considered. The city's superintendent of central inspection, Kurt Schroeder, said the company can stay open until at least June 21 because it has a current license and the required insurance.

Schroeder told council members this week that Zogleman had presented evidence "regarding that gap in insurance coverage" and that the city needed time to validate the information.

"There were some other things that came to light that we wanted to do some research on," Zogleman said of his meeting with Schroeder, adding that the discussion wasn't about insurance. "We just had a good discussion. We wanted to afford him the opportunity to examine everything that needs to be done."

Councilwoman Janet Miller said she had received emails claiming Moonwalks for Fun operates inflatables that aren't listed on the company's license and haven't been inspected.

"Our intent would be to actually go out and look at their records on what was operating when," Schroeder said.

Moonwalks for Fun's license lists 21 rides that have been inspected and can be operated in the city. The company states on its website that it has more than 150 rides available.

Moonwalks for Fun rents rides for special events such as children's birthday parties, in addition to providing equipment at Pure Entertainment.

There are 16 entities licensed by the city to operate inflatables.

At least 10 inflatables around the country have been toppled by winds or collapsed under too much weight in the last two months, injuring more than 40 people, according to www.rideaccidents.com, a website that tracks amusement ride accidents.

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