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State Insurance Department Says Texas Giant Was Up-To-Code

Flickr user Bradi Korte (ladybugbkt)

Insurance inspectors with the state said the Texas Giant roller coaster at Six Flags over Texas in Arlington passed the annual inspection before this weekend's deadly accident involving Rosy Esparza, who fell 14 stories while riding the Texas Giant.

According to the Texas Department of Insurance, roller coasters are inspected on an annual basis by a certified engineer.

Ben Gonzalez is with the Texas Department of Insurance and said that beyond the inspection, there are other requirements for amusement rides in Texas.

"In Texas, amusement rides or conveyances that are done for entertainment are required to have a $1 million liability policy for bodily injury liability," Gonzalez said.

Nearly every legislative session, lawmakers have proposed bills addressing the topic of inspections on amusement park rides, but Gonzalez said very little has been changed as far as the inspection of these types of rides.

During the last legislative session, Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, authored a bill that would have transferred the inspection and regulation process for roller coasters on to the Texas Department of Licensing and Registration, but that bill died in committee.

The Texas Giant is closed until it can be re-inspected by a certified engineer. Likewise, Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio has closed the Iron Rattle, which is similar to the German-made Texas Giant.

Anyone wanting to check a roller coaster safety history can log on to the Texas Department of Insurance’s website and check the agency’s quarterly injury report.