Two in critical condition after ride accident


Associated Press

Posted on October 25, 2013 at 10:30 AM

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Two 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.

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.

%@AP Links

161-a-11-(Steve Troxler, North Carolina agriculture commissioner, at news conference)-"emergency response agencies"-North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler says crews worked fast to respond to the accident. (25 Oct 2013)

<<CUT *161 (10/25/13)££ 00:11 "emergency response agencies"

160-a-08-(Donnie Harrison, Wake County sheriff, at news conference)-"was working properly"-Sheriff Donnie Harrison says there was a report of a problem with the ride where the accident happened. (25 Oct 2013)

<<CUT *160 (10/25/13)££ 00:08 "was working properly"

APPHOTO NCRAL101: 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. State Fair in Raleigh, N.C. The accident occurred on the ride at the North Carolina State Fair on Thursday night, sending five people to the hospital with unknown injuries. (AP Photo/The News & Observer, Robert Willett) (24 Oct 2013)

<<APPHOTO NCRAL101 (10/24/13)££