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North Carolina Carnival Worker Killed In Ferris Wheel Accident


Posted on May 28, 2011

One carnival worker was killed and another was critically injured in a North Carolina amusement park accident in Greensboro early on Monday morning. An initial investigation has revealed that the accident may has been caused by a defective cable.

The worker accident took place at the Greensboro Youth Council Carnival in the parking lot of the Greensboro Coliseum on the final night of the six-day celebration.  The workers were taking the Ferris wheel apart for transport to the next carnival location when the fall accident occurred.

Killed in the accident was 42-year-old Michael Douglas Cook. Another worker, who has not yet been identified, remains in critical condition at Moses Cone Hospital. Other workers who were dismantling the Ferris wheel told local reporters that they had already removed the chairs from the ride and were removing the wheel’s spokes when the accident took place.

Amusement park accidents are somewhat rare. The last fatal amusement park accident in North Carolina occurred in 2002, when a girl was killed on a ride at the annual state fair. Carnivals operating in North Carolina are inspected by the NC Department of Labor’s Elevator and Amusement Device Bureau. According to the state regulators, the company that owns the Ferris wheel, Drew Exposition, has a history of safe amusement park rides and has never been cited by the OSHA since the organization began keeping records forty years ago.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate the fatal worker accident.

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