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Swing Ride Accident: Oyster Festival Attraction Loses Power

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Huufington post, swing ride accident


NORWALK, Conn. — Thirteen children were injured when a festival attraction that swings riders into the air lost power at a community fair in Connecticut on Sunday afternoon, authorities said.


Most of the children suffered minor injuries and were treated at the Oyster Festival in Norwalk, police said. But several others were more seriously hurt and taken to local hospitals, according to authorities.


One hospital reported three in stable condition and another reported three were being evaluated. Victims were also reportedly taken to a third hospital.


It wasn't clear how far off the ground they were when they fell.


Norwalk police called in the state fire marshal's office to investigate.


The festival's organizer, the nonprofit Norwalk Seaport Association, said it directed the ride's operator, Stewart Amusement, to shut down the entire ride area until state inspectors complete an inspection. The other rides later reopened and the rest of the festival remained open on its third and final day.


Stewart Amusement didn't immediately return phone and email messages seeking comment. Its rides are inspected by its own staff every day, by state and local inspectors weekly and by engineers and insurance inspectors each year, the company's website said.


"Your safety is of critical importance to us," the site says. "Not only do we have an obligation to provide our guests with the safest equipment and environment possible, but also our ultimate success depends on it."


Stewart Amusement says it has provided rides and other attractions since 1983 at events in Fairfield and New Haven counties in Connecticut and neighboring Westchester and Putnam counties in New York.


Troopers with state police fire and explosion unit were investigating, department spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance said.


Festival organizers posted a statement about the accident on its Facebook page.


"Our first and only concern is for the wellbeing of those involved and their families," the statement said.


Never thought a power loss could result in guests "falling off" one of these, don't know if I will ride one of these again.

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Interestingly, the article at the link is now quite different. For one thing it's shorter. (Usually articles get longer, as more information is discovered.) But now it no longer says that people fell, which makes a lot more sense. The injuries seem to have come from the seats crashing into each other as the ride suddenly stopped. As for the people who were injured, "All but one were treated and released" by 8:26 PM when the amended article was posted.


The current text:


NORWALK, Conn. — Authorities say 12 children were injured when a ride at a Connecticut fair suddenly stopped, sending its riders crashing into each other.


Norwalk police say a dozen children and one adult were transported to hospitals after the rotating swing ride at the city's Oyster Festival came to a sudden stop Sunday afternoon. All but one were treated and released.


Officials did not release the age of the lone victim hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.


State police say a mechanical failure caused the ride to stop, which sent its occupants careening into each other. They say no riders were ejected from the ride or fell to the ground.


Troopers with state police fire and explosion unit are investigating the cause of the failure.


Other rides were briefly halted for inspection.

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I actually live in Norwalk and was at the Oyster festival on Saturday. I thought about taking a spin on the swings among other things but I did not feel like paying $1.25 per ride ticket. The swings alone would have cost $3.75 and the lines were rather long for the things I would ride. I was also otherwise occupied with Christmas shopping and watching The Village People preform.


A little history on the Oyster festival I have been going literally since before I can remember and volunteered at the festival several years. The last time I attended previous to this year was 2011, I had other obligations last year. The festival in its past was typically more of an arts festival with various artist showing off and selling their crafts, musical acts and a large variety of food available from lobster dinners to fried dough. More recently they have scaled back on the arts vendors and added more amusements and food. I had never seen so many amusement rides as I saw this year it was actually a very nice spread. The unfortunate accident is a shame however because the ride did look pretty fun.


Barring any unusually circumstances I will be attending the Oyster Festival next year $12 admission and a decent amount of fun.



The Village People. I had been walking around so I didn't fight for a seat. The view was better then the picture would suggest.


Drop Tower and Round Up both with long lines.


Intentional action shot (I swear).


The line for this pretty much ran the entire length of the ride area.


The uhh one "credit" they had. A cobra themed dragon wagon with lots of lights.


Games and stuff and more lights.


Umbrella Rides, Dizzy Dragons and other random amusements.


The Rock-o-Plane! It had a very very long line.


Ferris Wheel, Funhouse, Bumper Cars.


Tornado ride and people.


The ill fated Swings, kind of blurry. The spun rather fast and the swings seemed to swing out quite far. An abrupt stop on that would really hurt.


There are a few things I neglected to take pictures of, there was Giant Slide, a Kids Carousel, a fair few midway games and food stands and some other smaller kiddie rides. It was pretty packed and there was not wristband option only tickets.

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I wonder how one can get major injuries from a power failure. Years ago I've witnessed a power outage at the Hamburg DOM near a Zierer Waveswinger - the ride rotation came to a stop very slowly and as the hydraulics powered down it very slowly got down to the parking position. At another year a local public tv station did a Fools Day joke that due to a moon eclipse all rides run "extremely slow" - many riders participated and even inversion rides did about one revolution per minute with everyone having big fun.


Nevertheless hope all are well and the ride will be checked and up soon.

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