Swing Ride Injures 14 Children

An apparent mechanical failure on an amusement park thrill-ride left 14 children injured after the ride came crashing to the ground 10 feet below.

No one was seriously hurt in the Wednesday evening accident on the Wave Swinger ride at the Canadian National Exhibition. Police said most of the injured children, ages five to 15, suffered cuts, bruises and neck and back injuries.

"I thought the whole thing was going to blow. I've never been that scared," said Sayland Green, 12, as she was being examined by paramedics. "It was a horror show."

The Wave Swinger is a circular ride with 48 swing-style seats attached by metal chains to a dome.

"We're not sure what happened. There was a malfunction, and the chairs dropped to the platform," said Alfie Phillips, president of Conklin Shows, which owns the midway.

Witnesses reported hearing a loud crash before the chairs fell.

"Everyone came bouncing down," said John Sampson, manager of the Red Dragon Tattoo stand, located across from the Wave Swinger.

Phillips said the Wave Swinger had been inspected Wednesday morning by the ride foreman, a Conklin Shows employee, and Tuesday morning by a safety inspector from the Canadian National Exhibition.

"We have an excellent safety record, but these things happen," Phillips said Wednesday night.

The ride has been shut down and will be carefully inspected before a decision is made on whether to let it reopen, said Tom Zach, spokesman for the Technical Standards and Safety Association.

The accident came after a rash of recent accidents at amusement parks in the United States that killed four people.