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Six Flags ride reopens, a month after fatal fall

With revised restraints, roller coaster resumes

AGAWAM -- The Superman Ride of Steel roller coaster was back in business yesterday, a month after a fatal fall prompted the installation of new safety equipment.

The roller coaster at Six Flags New England had been closed since May 1, when Stanley J. Mordarsky, 55, of Bloomfield, Conn., came loose from a lap restraint on the roller coaster and plunged to the ground.

A report issued this month by the state Department of Public Safety found that Mordarsky, who had cerebral palsy, should have disclosed his disability and that park attendants should not have allowed him on the ride, one of the highest and fastest of its kind.

The report also said lap restraints had not secured Mordarsky in his seat, partly because of Mordarsky's size -- 5 feet, 2 inches and 230 pounds.

The ride closed for about an hour yesterday afternoon for what a park spokeswoman, Mary Ann Burns, called "routine maintenance."

"That's not unusual for an amusement park ride, especially our coasters," Burns said.

Fans flocked to the ride, despite Mordarsky's death.

"He shouldn't have been on the ride in the first place," said Joe Ouimet, 33, of Chicopee.

Officials at Six Flags closed the roller coaster after Mordarsky's death.

On Friday, the officials announced the ride's reopening for the weekend, but only after adding metal leg bars and shin restraints to the lap bar to secure riders firmly.

Park officials also attached a new belt to the side of the lap restraint to help determine if a rider does not fit into the seat safety system.

Sue Feir, 53, of Ossining, N.Y., said she was not concerned about her 13-year-old daughter on the roller coaster.

"It's like flying in a plane," Feir said. "People take risks every day. Zillions of kids go on those rides, and they're OK."

Ashly Scharn and Kyla Sardo , both 15 and both of Seymour, Conn., said they, too, were undeterred by Mordarsky's death.

"I got scared, and I'm still scared, but I think it makes it thrilling," Scharn said.

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