NC state fair ride sends 5 to hospital

    6:17 AM, Oct 25, 2013   |    comments
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    (CBS) -- Several people are in the hospital after police say a popular ride at the North Carolina State fair, malfunctioned. It happened late last night.

    Investigators say they have at least 30 witnesses who may be better able to explain what happened moments before and after the accident.

    The Vortex ride spins people around and flips them upside down. About 15 minutes after a fair-goer shot video at the North Carolina State fair, something went wrong. Emergency crews rushed at least five people to the hospital; the Vortex operator and others were injured as the ride came to an end.

    Wake Co. Sheriff Donnie Harrison says, "The ride had stopped and they were fixed to off load when the ride started again."

    One witness reported hearing a crashing sound and says he saw two people lying face down on the ground. Another person says several people were thrown off the ride. Authorities say the injured range in age from 14 to 39.

    Brian Long, PIO for the State Department of Agriculture says, "This has shaken us all a little bit. We definitely have these folks in our thoughts and prayers."

    According to officials the Vortex is inspected three times a day. State authorities will take over the investigation to determine how this accident happened.

    Two people taken to the hospital have been released. Three are still there, but the local sheriff says two of them are still being treated for very serious injuries.

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