MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A ride at the Delta Fair had a mishap, but a spokesperson for the fair said no one was injured, as the Shelby County Sheriff's Office had reported.
The lap bar on the Moonraker ride released early as the ride was slowing down at the end, the Delta Fair spokesperson said.
A preliminary investigation points to operator error as the cause, according to the Delta Fair.
According to the Delta Fair, the ride's computer detected a problem, so it shut down the ride, making the ride slow down and return to the ground. The ride operator panicked and pressed a manual override, which caused the lap bars to release as the ride was lowering.
Some riders became "nervous or scared," but none were injured, the spokesperson said.
"Unfortunately, when something unexpected happens, people panic," a safety official said.
"We could've died," said Anna Jordon, who was on the ride with her best friend Hannah.
"We were in the air and then it just stopped out of nowhere," Hannah said. She said she slid almost to the other side of the ride.
The Shelby County Sheriff's Office said the riders were thrown from the ride, but according to the Delta Fair, that was not the case.
However, people on social media are saying people did indeed fall off the ride while it was in the air.
EMS checked out the riders as a precautionary measure, the Delta Fair spokesperson said. Paramedics reported no visible injuries.
Seven riders and the ride operator went to the hospital, also just as a precaution. Of the eight who went to the hospital, two were adults and the rest were children.
It turns out some of the riders who went to the hospital were found to have minor injuries. The Delta Fair said it learned of this late Saturday night.
The safety official said it's concerning the operator has a feature where he or she can lift the bars up halfway through the ride. He also said it was unusual.
"We're not used to seeing that feature, and I don't know if because he was in emergency mode he was able to do that," he said. "I have never seen a ride that you could disable the safety feature while it was in motion."
Shelby County Code Enforcement was called out to the fair and will determine whether the ride opens back up or gets the boot.
The ride will stay closed until at least Tuesday.
This comes several days after two workers were shocked while assembling a ride before the fair opened.
Full statement from Delta Fair:
We have been informed of some misinformation that is being reported. There has been NO one thrown from a ride at the Delta Fair. What is being reported by the Shelby County Sheriff's office is grossly inaccurate.
We did have a ride, the Moonraker, that had the lap bar released early as the ride was slowing to an end. The release of the lap bar did cause some riders to become nervous and scared. None of the riders were injured and all walked away safely. As a precautionary measure we had the riders checked out by our onsite EMS services and then had the riders at their request sent to the Hospital for strictly precautionary reasons.