Test dummies fall off roller coaster during safety run

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OCEAN CITY, N.J. (AP) -

The operators of a New Jersey shore amusement park say a roller coaster there is safe after a pair of water-filled test dummies fell off during a recent test ride.

The GaleForce coaster at Playland's Castaway Cove in Ocean City was undergoing a routine safety check April 20 when the dummies plummeted into a hotel next door, damaging the building's shingles and plywood.

"It's an unfortunate situation," Brian Hartley, the park's vice president, told NBC Philadelphia. 

Park officials say the dummies had undetected leaks that made them lose their mass and shape, causing them to fall. They say that wouldn't happen to humans and that nothing on the ride failed during the test, including the lap bar that secures riders.

“Obviously it’s not something that would ever happen with a person in it,” Hartley said. "The lap bar comes down. You’re secured in there.”

Officials say the coaster has run problem-free since the mishap and is tested daily for about two hours.