02/28/2012 01:44 pm ET

Owner Of 'Human Hamster Ball' Attraction At Maine Mall Wants State To Reconsider Ban (VIDEO)

A business owner in Maine is urging the state fire marshal to reconsider its ban on the "Human Hamster Ball" at a mall.

Children once flocked to the popular attraction that featured a giant, clear ball floating atop a small pool of water. The ride closed in January after the state deemed it unsafe, the Portland Press Herald reports.


Earlier this week, schoolchildren on a field trip were disappointed to learn the attraction was out of service.

Jeff Hunnewell, president of Summit Adventures Extreme Family Entertainment Center, told the Portland Daily Sun that staff take the proper precautions to ensure patrons are safe while using the spheres. He said employees monitor the activity and give customers a five-minute time limit inside the balls, which float atop about 15 inches of water.

Hunnewell says 21,000 people used the balls in 2011, and only two people sustained injuries that required ice packs.

Still, Rich McCarthy, Maine's assistant fire marshal, said the office was contacted by a representative of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), who said they were unsure of the proper regulations for operating the attraction, the Portland Press Herald reports.

In a statement released on March 31, the CPSC urged consumers to beware of the "Water Walking Balls" because they could cause suffocation or drowning. The CPSC emphasized the "ride" was popular among children and cited two incidents that left one child unresponsive and another with a broken bone.

But Hunnewell is asking the state to evaluate the center's safety practices and "present me [with a] reason why we can't do it," he told the Portland Daily Sun.

In addition to the "Human Hamster Balls," Summit Adventures offers other activities, such as rock climbing and laser tag. The center boasts a family-friendly environment and also offers a toddler gym.

WATCH two adults ride the attraction at Summit Adventures: