When people envisage "magic carpets", they might think they're all like the flying rug that Aladdin and Jasmine park their arses on in the Walt Disney classic...The Return Of Jafar. Friendly, always looking-out-for-you, incapable of speech, and good at taking you from one place to another.

Some magic carpet rides, however, can be much more traumatic. Take the one at the Raging Buffalo Snowboard and Ski Park in Algonquin, for example. In the most recent winter season, it took the arm of 17-year old park employee Patrick O'Donnell.

At the time of writing, O'Donnell is in the middle of a lawsuit; claiming that the lift is "unreasonably dangerous" and should have a more accessible emergency shut off switch.


According to Fire Department officials, O'Donnell's arm got stuck in the conveyor belt designed to take skiers and snowboarders up the slope. After an hour, rescue officials were finally able to free the trapped teenager. Despite being immediately air-lifted to a local hospital, O'Donnell's arm still had to be amputated.

Magic Carpet Lifts Inc, who are one of the defendants in the case, are remaining pretty tight lipped on the subject although they have expressed sorrow for O'Donnell's situation. Others involved in the suit are Hoffman-Panduit Partnership, and IDEC Corporation.

The lawsuit is chasing $150,000 in damages.