Sun, May 18, 2008 - Page 7 News List

Carnival ride at US annual frog contest buckles, 24 injured

AP , ANGELS CAMP, CALIFORNIA

A carnival ride at the annual fair celebrating the popular Calaveras County jumping frog contest in northern California collapsed, injuring all 24 people aboard, authorities said.

Three were airlifted to hospitals in Modesto and Sacramento, but the extent of the injuries was not immediately known, said Sergeant Dave Seawell, a spokesman for the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Department.

Most of the riders were children, and all were injured, he said.

The carnival ride, called the Yo-Yo, collapsed on Friday evening at the Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee, about 130km southeast of Sacramento.

The ride has metal arms, each with a seat at the end attached by a chain, that swings outward as the ride picks up speed.

The arms rise and fall as they spin around a center pole, putting the seats horizontal to the ground.

The pole apparently collapsed, causing the arms to crash back toward the center, said Dennis Townsend, a chief in the Calaveras County unit of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention.

“The mechanism that lifts the people is the one that collapsed,” he said.

The riders were hurt when their seats struck the ground or other parts of the machine, he said. Authorities could not immediately determine what might have caused the accident.

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