The Super Star ride at Palace Playland in Old Orchard Beach. A 10-year-old boy was injured on the ride on Saturday night. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

OLD ORCHARD BEACH — A 10-year-old boy was injured Saturday night on an amusement park ride at Palace Playland in Old Orchard Beach, prompting an investigation by the State Fire Marshal.

Details of how the boy was injured on the Super Star ride at the beachfront park have not been released. He was transported to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and was conscious and alert, Shannon Moss, spokesperson for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said in a statement Monday night. His name and hometown are not known, Moss said.

“Investigators from the Fire Marshal’s Office responded to Palace Playland that evening to investigate the incident and inspect the ride. The ride passed inspection,” Moss said. “At this time, the Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the series of events that led to the child’s injuries.”

The incident took place at approximately 6 p.m. Saturday while the boy was riding on the Super Star, which is located at the entrance to Palace Playland and the intersection of Old Orchard Street and West Grand Avenue. Described as a family ride on the Palace Playland website, the Super Star has three arms radiating from a central column. Each arm holds seven gondolas. When the ride begins, the central column spins one way, while the stars at the end of each arm are raised in the air and rotate the other way.

Riders must be 42 inches tall to ride the Super Star by themselves or 36 inches tall to ride with an adult.

Paul Carney, who owns Old Orchard Beach AirBrush, was working Saturday night making custom printed T-shirts and hoodies when the accident occurred next to his shop. He didn’t witness it, but saw first responders carry the boy to the ambulance.


“It looked like he just stepped off the set of ‘The Walking Dead,'” Carney said during an interview at his shop Monday night, referencing the series about survivors of a zombie apocalypse.

Carney said the boy was removed from the ride on a stretcher and was talking to people, who appeared to be his parents.

Whit Richardson was walking with his family near the Super Star ride on Saturday night when he saw people running and pulling a child away from the ride, he said in an email. Richardson, who did not witness what happened, said the boy appeared to be conscious, but was bleeding from the head.

Downtown Old Orchard Beach was uncharacteristically quiet Monday night as a steady rain that eventually grew into a downpour put a damper on what normally would have been a busy summer night. Parking attendants waved flags and pleaded with passing motorists to park at mostly empty lots. Palace Playland, which opens at 4 p.m., shut down for the evening. The gates to the amusement park were locked and no one could be seen at any of the rides, including Super Star.

Calls left at the office of Palace Playland were not returned Monday.

The Old Orchard Beach Fire Department was called to the amusement park just after 6 p.m. Saturday for a report that a person was injured on a ride, Chief Fred LaMontagne said. He said the town notified state inspectors as is required whenever anyone is injured on an amusement ride in Maine.



State law requires all amusement rides to be inspected at least once annually by the State Fire Marshal. If an inspection reveals the ride does not meet all safety standards, the ride owner is notified of all defects and is not allowed to operate the ride until it passes inspection. All rides are required to display an inspection decal from the inspector.

Following a serious injury or illness involving an amusement ride, the ride must be inspected and approved by the commissioner before it can be operated in Maine. State law defines “serious injury or illness” as one that results in death, dismemberment, disfigurement, compound fracture of a body part or permanent loss of the use of a body part or organ, or that requires hospital admission within 24 hours of the incident.

Owners of amusement rides are required to have public liability insurance with a minimum of $1 million coverage. They are required to document proof that all operators are trained. Ride owners also must maintain a first aid log that documents all rider injuries or illnesses resulting from the operation of a ride.

Anyone who operates a ride in violation of the state’s requirement faces a civil violation with a fine of up to $1,000.

In 2021, the Office of State Fire Marshal inspected mechanical amusement rides for 30 fixed and traveling amusement show locations and at 19 motor vehicle racing events, according to the office’s annual report.

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