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Busch Gardens reviews safety procedures



One day after USF football player Maikon Bonani fell 35 feet from the SkyRide while working at Busch Gardens, the theme park reviewed its safety procedures with other employees Sunday, according to this report from the Times' Richard Danielson.

Busch Gardens officials said Sunday that the ride was operating correctly on Saturday, when Bonani, a 20-year-old working as an attendant, clung to a moving gondola he thought had an unlocked door for about 50 feet before falling to the ground, injuring his back. He remains in fair condition at St. Joseph's Hospital.

Bonani has declined interview requests from the media through both the hospital and USF -- he'll have quite a story to tell whenever he's comfortable speaking publicly. He's said to be in good spirits and may not know a prognosis for if and when he can return to playing football for several days.

-- For medical reference, Bonani injured his 12th thoracic vertebra, according to USF coach Jim Leavitt. The vertebral column is split into three sections -- the top is the cervical, the middle the thoracic and the bottom the lumbar. The 12th vertebra is the lowest of the thoracic vertebra, in an area considered to be the bottom of the back of the chest. Here's a good page from Emory University's website.

Bonani-brittany -- Here's a picture taken of Bonani in his Busch Gardens uniform just minutes before his accident on Saturday -- thanks to USF alum Brittany Link of Fort Lauderdale for sending in the picture.

-- We mentioned Sunday morning that Bonani is -- best we can tell -- the only current USF football player with a page at His updates are protected, which means he must approve any follower before they can read his posts -- he hasn't posted an update in about three weeks. He can, however, read messages sent from anyone on Twitter. Quite a few fans took time to send get-well messages to @bonani28 on Twitter, including USF men's basketball coach Stan Heath. As always, you can follow this blog on Twitter at

-- Speaking of Twitter, USF coach Jim Leavitt made a reference to Bonani late Sunday night, writing that "MB seems to be doing OK."

-- We'll have a lot more on Bonani this week, and will also catch up on a bunch of other USF links and notes first thing Monday ...

[Last modified: Thursday, May 27, 2010 6:48pm]


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