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updated: 3/4/2014 11:50 AM

Ski park reopens; Injured teen recovering in intensive care

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  • A male teenage employee was severely injured Sunday when his arm became tangled in ski lift machinery at Raging Buffalo Snowboard and Ski Park near Algonquin.

       A male teenage employee was severely injured Sunday when his arm became tangled in ski lift machinery at Raging Buffalo Snowboard and Ski Park near Algonquin.
    Christopher Hankins | Staff Photographer

 
 

The Raging Buffalo Snowboard and Ski Park near Algonquin will reopen this afternoon two days after a 17-year-old employee was injured when his arm became tangled in the roller brush that cleans snow from a ski conveyor lift.

The facility, located at 19N475 Route 31 on forest preserve property in unincorporated Kane County, will reopen at 4 p.m. The magic carpet lift on the beginner hill will remain closed.

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The teen, a Jacobs High School student, remained in the intensive care unit at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge as of Tuesday morning, according to a statement from the company.

"This family and our entire organization continue to ask that he remains in your thoughts and prayers and that you respect their privacy during this difficult time," the statement read.

Firefighters had to cut the machinery apart to free the teen's arm, which was not severed, authorities said.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the accident to ensure there was proper machine guarding, training, and operating procedures to prevent such an incident, spokeswoman Rhonda Burke has said.

That investigation could take up to six months to complete.

According to the statement from the company, Raging Buffalo has completed and passed three independent safety inspections this season and each of its past 22 seasons "with an excellent record of safety and accident prevention."

"The safety of our employees and guests is of the utmost importance ... as always we will continue to look for procedures or protocols that may help to protect our staff and guests," the statement read.

Raging Buffalo employees have setup a fund to help the teen and his family and will be hosting a fundraiser Sunday. Donations can be made at gofundme.com/ragingbuffalofriend.

Community Unit District 300 Superintendent Michael Bregy said Monday afternoon Jacobs High School's counselors have reached out to the family to offer support.

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