N.C. fair ride ‘Vortex’ malfunctions, sending several to the hospital

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Five people were rushed to a North Carolina hospital on Thursday evening after an accident involving an amusement ride, the Vortex, at the state fair.

Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said in a local WRAL report that at least two of the people who were injured were in serious condition. The Washington Post was reporting on Friday that six, rather than five, were injured.

But WRAL said the victims ranged in age from 14 to 39. One of the injured was the operator of the ride. Police were still trying to determine what happened, and how the riders were injured.

“The ride had stopped and they were fixing to offload when the ride started off again, but that is preliminary,” Mr. Harrison said, in WRAL.

The Associated Press reported the ride simply started up again a few minutes before 9:30 p.m. on Thursday. Fair spokesman Brian Long said an ambulance arrived within minutes and transported five to the hospital.

The Vortex is a ride that spins, twirls around and then flips riders completely upside down. Mr. Long said state Department of Labor officials, as well as sheriff deputies, were investigating.

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