North Carolina State Fair Ride Accident Hospitalizes At Least Five

An accident at the North Carolina State Fair hospitalized at least five people. The Huffington Post quoted fair spokesman Brain Long saying, “a preliminary investigation indicates that passengers may have been injured when the ‘Vortex’ ride started up again as they were getting off, about 9:17 p.m.”

According to ABC News, three people still remain hospitalized but are in good condition. Eyewitnesses told reporters that they remember seeing passengers being thrown off the ride while others held on.

“There were actually some people that were still, I think, strapped in and holding on, really hanging on for their lives,” Max Byrn, 13, told ABC News Radio. “But they were falling like raindrops. It was really crazy.”

The ages of the injured ranged from 14 to 39-years-old according to the Chicago Tribune. Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison stated that one of the injured was one of the ride operators.

Max continued on to tell ABC News that he had gotten off the ride, then turned back around when he heard people screaming. “People were screaming and a lot of people were in pain. Family members actually ran away, like they couldn’t bear to look at it. They were dropping about 30 feet high up in the air.”

According to ABC News, the North Carolina Labor Department is supposed to check all rides, including the Vortex, at least three times during the fair to make sure it is working safely.

Labor Department spokeswoman Dolores Quesenberry stated that “They will be looking at the diagnostics, all the safety systems and any piece of that ride to determine if it was indeed a malfunction of the ride.”

While the North Carolina State Fair is scheduled to reopen today as normal, officials will be making sure that everything runs as smoothly as possible. The fiar is scheduled to end Sunday according to ABC News.

[Image via KICentral]

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