An industry analyst says at least 13 people have been killed on rides similar to the Wisdom Super Sizzler, a carnival ride that took the life of a 10-year-old girl over the weekend.
The girl, whose name has not yet been released, died Saturday after the ride ejected her during a fall parade at the Deerfield Township Harvest Festival in New Jersey. According to police, the little girl was airlifted and taken to the Cooper University Health Care in Camden, where she was pronounced dead around an hour later.
Amusement park safety analyst and consultant Ken Martin said that the same ride has thrown others off before, yet it’s still being operated at carnivals.
“This ride is old, you never know what may happen. I know this ride has thrown people out before,” Martin said, according to CBS 3. “I know that it goes too fast and I know that there were problems with the lap bars.”
After the incident, the amusement park didn’t immediately cancel its operations, which drew outrage from the community. The rides were subsequently shut down the following day, although the state police gave the OK to keep the rides in operation.
The owners of the carnival rides, Skelly’s Amusements, issued refunds for anyone who bought Sunday tickets.
“We don’t have it in our heart. We thank the sponsors of the Festival for their understanding,” the company said.
Meanwhile, State inspectors and the State Police are still trying to figure out what happened, according to Nj.com. Police said the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) is supposed to make sure all carnival rides undergo a state-mandated check each year.
According to DCA reports, the Wisdom Super Sizzler had been inspected in New Jersey, but it’s unclear when the inspection took place or even if it took place this year at all.
The Wisdom Super Sizzler has around 12 carts carried by metal arms that spin people in the air at high speed. All passengers have a metal lap bar placed over them for safety. Operators are required to make sure each passenger has their seatbelts buckled securely before the ride starts.
Although the amusement park industry assures the public that rides are safe, statistics from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission indicate that in 2016 alone, there were 30,900 injuries, with 22 fatalities.
The data came after a 2017 accident in Ohio, when a teen died after a seat ripped off while he was on the Fire Ball ride at a state fair. Similar to the Wisdom Super Spinner, the Fire Ball spins and swings its passengers, according to NBC News.
The teen, identified as 18-year-old Tyler Jarrell, passed away from his injuries after “the whole car went flying off and over the side while in motion,” according to a witness.
State Police said that Skelly’s Amusements is fully cooperating with the investigation into the most recent incident.
Check back for further updates.
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[Featured Photo: Wiki Creative Commons/Golden Wattle]