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12-year-old dies after fall from climbing wall at North Carolina indoor trampoline park

Altitude Trampoline Park in Gastonia, N.C., was sit on the accident involving 12-year-old boy on Wednesday.
Altitude Trampoline Park in Gastonia, N.C., was sit on the accident involving 12-year-old boy on Wednesday. Facebook screenshot/Altitude Trampoline Park

A 12-year-old boy died at a Charlotte hospital Friday morning from injuries sustained when he fell from a rock climbing wall at a trampoline park in Gaston County on Wednesday, according to WBTV and other news outlets.

The boy was being treated at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte for “potential brain injuries,” according to WSOC. The station identified him as Matthew Lu, a student at Camerton Middle School, and said the attraction he was using is called a “Clip ‘N Climb.”

WBTV reports police in Lowell confirmed the boy had died Thursday, June 20, but did not offer details of his injuries.

“A woman who identified herself as the child’s mother told 911 dispatchers that her child was unconscious following the fall,” the station reported.

Investigators have not identified the boy, who was at Altitude Trampoline Park on East Franklin Boulevard at the time he was hurt. The park posted a note on its door Friday saying: “Due to an injury at the park, and out of respect for the family, the park is closed today.”

Details of how the boy lost his grip have not been released, reported the Observer’s news partner WBTV. He about 15 feet up at the time and was wearing a harness, according to the Associated Press. “It’s unclear whether the harness was functioning properly,” Associated Press reported.

The incident happened about 6 p.m. Wednesday and quoted one 911 caller as saying: “A kid fell off the wall and hit the ground. He is not moving,” according to WCNC.

Park officials released a statement to WBTV: “We’ve been in touch with a representative from the family. We are getting updates on his condition periodically, and are not in a position to speak for the family. We are taking every step necessary at the park.”

The rock-climbing area of the park is closed as the incident is being investigated, reported WSOC.

Altitude Trampoline Park describes itself as a facility with “high energy attractions including a ninja course, wipeout, performance trampolines, ropes course, and...Extreme Dodgeball.”

“Our trampoline park equipment is fully manufactured in the USA with safety in mind,” says the park’s website.

Trampoline parks “have exploded into a billion-dollar industry,” according to CBS News. However, “at least six people have died from injuries” at such parks in the past seven years,” CBS reported in March.

Co-owner Kevin Reaves talks about the opening of Macon Rocks climbing gym that Reaves and his business partner Bryan Nichols plan to open in downtown Macon in early 2020.

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Mark Price has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1991, covering beats including schools, crime, immigration, the LGBTQ issues, homelessness and nonprofits. He graduated from the University of Memphis with majors in journalism and art history, and a minor in geology.
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