RED SPRINGS, NC — A carnival ride at the Red Springs Carnival stranded four people roughly 100 feet in the air for more than an hour Wednesday night.
This isn't the first time the 'Starflyer' ride has malfunctioned and engineers are now inspecting the ride to ensure that it's safe. Officials say the ride has a safety brake that stops the ride if it starts to come down too quickly. The brake engaged unexpectedly, stranding the riders in the air.
Four different agencies were dispatched to the scene. The Red Springs Fire Department, Pembroke Rural Fire Department, Red Springs Rescue and the Red Springs Police Department all responded to the carnival.
Red Springs Fire Chief John Ammons said first responders worked together to safely remove the people from the ride.
“We train to use the ladder trucks all the time for fire situations but this is the first time we’ve ever had to use it for an actual [ride] rescue,” said Ammons.
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Midway Rides of Utica owner Dana Peck says the malfunction at Red Springs Carnival isn’t the first problem the ride has experienced.
“It’s happened one other time,” admitted Peck. “At that time we made a minor adjustment and we didn’t have any other problems last year.”
Following Wednesday’s malfunction, engineers and mechanics are checking the ride to make sure it does not lock up again. Despite the scare the riders experienced, Peck says traveling carnivals are actually safer than other parks that host rides because of the daily inspections and knowledgeable staff.
“They are machines,” said Peck. “It’s a situation where the state comes in and they inspect us. We have daily inspections that we carry out ourselves. It’s a situation where things can happen.”
Red Springs Police Chief Ronnie Patterson says the carnival doubles as a fundraiser for the Christmas Shop with a Cop program.
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