Two In Critical Condition After Ride Accident At NC State Fair - WSPA.com

Two In Critical Condition After Ride Accident At NC State Fair

Posted: Updated:
(AP Photo/The News & Observer, Robert Willett). Fairgrounds Police secure a barricade around the Vortex after an accident closed the ride just after 9 p.m. on Thursday Oct. 24, 2013 at the N.C. (AP Photo/The News & Observer, Robert Willett). Fairgrounds Police secure a barricade around the Vortex after an accident closed the ride just after 9 p.m. on Thursday Oct. 24, 2013 at the N.C.
RALEIGH, NC -

wo of the five people who were injured in a ride accident last night at the North Carolina State Fair are listed in critical condition today. The other three suffered less serious injuries.

The injuries took place after the ride started up again as riders were getting off.

Two In Critical Condition After Ride Accident At NC State Fair

A state Labor Department official says investigators will be looking at a safety switch that had malfunctioned a few days earlier. The ride had been shut down as workers replaced the switch, but it reopened Monday night.

The official says at the time of last night's malfunction, the ride's operator was at the controls, and the attendant was helping people off.

The ride, called the "Vortex," spins, twirls and flips passengers upside down. Officials say the ride will undergo an inspection by the state Department of Labor, and that the sheriff's office will also conduct its own investigation and look for witnesses.

Five Injured In NC State Fair Accident

An accident on a ride at the North Carolina State Fair injured five people.

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. Thursday, fair spokesman Brian Long said.

He said an ambulance was on the scene immediately, and that two of the injuries "appear to be serious; the other three not as serious."

The injured riders ranged in age from 14 to 39, Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison told a news conference. Linda Fowler, clinical administrator for WakeMed in Raleigh, confirmed that five people were admitted to the hospital from the fair, but she did not give out further information.

The "Vortex" spins, twirls and flips passengers upside down. Long said the ride would undergo inspection by the state Department of Labor, and that the sheriff's office would also conduct its own investigation and look for witnesses.

Television station WRAL in Raleigh quoted witnesses as saying several people were thrown off the ride and that some were unconscious.

A witness identified as Caleb Norris told WNCN television that he heard a crashing sound just after getting off the Vortex. He turned around and saw two people lying face down. Norris also said he saw the ride operator fall to his knees and start crying.

The accident occurred shortly before the fair was shutting down for the night. Long said the fair would reopen on Friday as scheduled. It closes Sunday.

In 2002, a ride operator at the fair was killed when he was struck by the ride while it was still in operation.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Powered by WorldNow

250 International Dr.
Spartanburg, S.C. 29303

Telephone: 864.576.7777
Fax: 864.587.5430
Email: webmaster@wspa.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.