MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Officials at the Delta Fair in Memphis where eight riders were hurt say they were told initially by first responders that there were no visible injuries.
Media outlets report that fair officials didn’t learn the injuries’ extent until the riders were taken to a hospital.
In a statement Sunday, officials apologized for originally downplaying the incident. Among the injuries were a fractured leg, wrist and collarbone. All of the injured have been released.
“Our apologies and condolences go out to the individuals on the ride involved, and also to everyone that was under the impression that we were trying to mislead you,” the statement said. “In no way were our intentions to mislead or lie to anyone and certainly do not want to come across that way.”
The incident happened Saturday on the Moonraker, which spins around an axis and tilts up and down on an angle. Fair safety director Matt Snyder said the ride’s computer detected a problem and immediately began safety shutdown. As the ride stopped spinning and began to descend, the operator panicked and pressed a manual override button that released lap bar safety restraints before it settled into its cradle.
Some riders fell into the metal bars or slid out of their seats. No one fell off the ride, which has been shut down.
The ride’s manual override button has since been disabled. Additional inspections of the ride are planned.
The fair continues through Sept. 11.