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Fake gunfight leads to real citation for workplace injury

MAGGIE VALLEY, N.C., Dec. 11 (UPI) -- A North Carolina theme park was cited for a workplace safety violation after a gunfighter in a theatrical show was actually shot while performing, police said.

Ghost Town in the Sky, a Maggie Valley amusement park, has staged the Wild West shootout performances as a centerpiece attraction for years. In July, veteran gunslinger performer Robert Bradley was wounded when a fellow performer fired a gun that supposedly was loaded with blanks.

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Police said it wasn't clear whether the gun fired a regular bullet or some other form of projectile, but Bradley was hit and injured nonetheless.

Now the park's owner, Alaska Presley, has been hit with a citation, including a $2,000 fine, by the North Carolina Department of Labor, which contends the park failed to provide a workplace "free from recognized hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm," the Smokey Mountain News reported Wednesday. The citation also requires the theme park to remedy problems investigators said led to the accident.

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Presley has 15 days to dispute the claim, pay the fine or request an informal conference with investigators. She told the newspaper she's already requested the meeting.

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"The citation is not permanent yet," she said.

Police said they are continuing to investigate the incident. Bradley, who is suing the park in a separate case to get back memorabilia he says is his personal property, maintains the guns were tampered with by someone.

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The Labor Department said the guns, which are modified to be fired only by pulling and releasing the hammer, should have been altered so they could only fire blanks.

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