Carnival ride malfunctions injuring 23

May 16, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Two-dozen people were hurt Friday night, three of them seriously injured, when a carnival ride malfunctioned in the gold country. It happened at the Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee in Angel's Camp. That's the county fair, inspired by a famous Mark Twain story.

The YoYo ride collapsed, injuring 23 people at the fair. Three of those people were critically injured including blunt trauma and head injuries. It was really quite a scene around 6:15 p.m. Friday night.

The swing ride is called the YoYo. It has chain-suspended swings that are lifted up on arms, suspended and the riders are sprung around in a circle. It was a ride that had mostly teenagers and children on it at the time of the accident.

The swings were up at full speed when witnesses say they heard a crashing sound as all the arms suddenly collapsed slamming the riders to the ground and slamming them into each other.

As the riders were falling, they became entangled in the chains and were slamming into each other simultaneously. It was a horrendous scene.

"There were screams, there were crashes, there was pandemonium, there was crying. A total of 23 were hurt, three of which were airlifted to local regional hospitals. There weren't any fatalities. The remaining 20 were a combination of transported by ground ambulance, private vehicles, and a couple walked away with just a couple of cuts and burses," said Captain Clay Hawkins of the Calaveras County Sheriff's Department.

"Apparently what happened was that the motor malfunctioned and slowed to the point where the swings were wrapping around other swings, wrapping around people, causing enough pressure to break bones," said Sean Lewis, the carnival announcer.

The midday is closed and everyone was escorted out of the area where the rides are at the fair. The rest of the fair did remain open, but with a much more somber air. All the rides shut down for safety checks.

Cal OSHA was on their way late Friday night to check out the scene. The Sherriff's department has already stared an investigation of their own.

So far the belief is that this was a mechanical failure. There were a lot of families at the fair Friday night. There was also a great feeling of sympathy for the teenagers and kids on the ride, and in some cases, for the parents watching the ride as their kids were on it. It was a terrible accident.


Load Comments