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Carnival ride malfunctions injuring several young people

HARTFORD — Eighteen people, most of them children, were injured at a fair in Connecticut yesterday when a carnival-style swing ride twirling them through the air in circles broke down, sending riders crashing into each other and tumbling to the ground, police said.

None of the injuries sustained by the 17 youngsters and one adult during the mid-afternoon mishap at the Norwalk Oyster Festival was believed to be serious, and only one individual was hospitalised, Norwalk police said.

The so-called Zumur swing ride, in which patrons sit in open chairs suspended by cables from long metal arms connected to a rotating hub, apparently lost power while the riders were airborne, police said.

With the sudden loss of momentum and centrifugal force, the swinging seats slammed into each other and into the centre of the apparatus, spilling some of the children 10 to 15 feet to the ground, Norwalk Police Chief Tom Kulhawik said.

Some of the fallen riders also were bumped by the drooping seats dragging along the ground before the ride came to a complete halt, and one child was bleeding from a head injury, Kulhawik said.

According to police accounts, the children’s parents were all nearby in the Kid’s Cove section of the festival grounds, many watching as the ride malfunctioned. No bystanders were reported to have been hurt.

The three-day festival remained open to the public for the final hours of the event, but all the carnival rides were immediately shut down for an inspection by the state fire marshal’s office and state police, authorities said. (Reuters)

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