A bizarre accident on a ride at the North Carolina State Fair has injured five. According to USA Today on Oct. 25, the “Vortex” ride stopped to let people off, but started up again, throwing people to the ground.
This accident happened around 9:17 p.m. on Thursday and out of the five injured, two of the injuries appeared to be serious, reports the state fair spokesperson Brian Long. The ages of the injured riders ranged from 14 to 39 and all five were admitted to the hospital, according to Linda Fowler, clinical administrator of WakeMed in Raleigh.
The accident happened as the fair was getting ready to shut down for the night. There was an ambulance on the scene, which is usually the case for large gatherings, like a state fair. The ambulance staff attended to the two seriously injured people and transported them to the hospital as other ambulances arrived.
The “Vortex” is a ride that spins and twirls passengers and then it flips them upside down. The ride is said to be inspected three times a day while in operation. The investigation will hopefully find the cause of the ride starting up again without warning.
Witnesses said some of the injured were thrown off the ride with such force that they were unconscious. The sheriff’s office is asking anyone who had taken cell phone pictures or videos of the ride as this accident occurred to please notify police. They will need this for their investigation.
One witness, Caleb Norris told the media he heard a crashing sound and when he turned around to look he saw two people lying face down on the ground. He said he saw the ride operator start to cry and fall to his knees.
The investigation continues today, but the fair is expected to open as planned, with the last day being Sunday.