Culpeper County Volunteer Fire closes ride after social media video shows malfunction

Culpeper County Volunteer Fire & Rescue Association, Inc. released a statement Thursday assuring the public a ferris wheel featured at their annual carnival will be closed until it's reinspected following a social media post showing the ride seemingly out of control.

A Facebook user named Alma Hernandez posted the video to her account and to local community pages. It showed two men trying to help a young man and woman off of the ferris wheel. As soon as they step off, one of the men grabs the bottom of the basket as the ferris wheel continues to spin, lifting him off the ground. Others continued to rotate around the ride as the man continues to grab onto every basket. A woman can be heard screaming in the background. Once the pair are safely off the ride, the young woman is embraced by another woman as she appears to cry.

The video has nearly 30,000 views and has been shared almost 600 times.

"If you’re going to the Culpeper Carnival this week I wouldn’t recommend getting on the ferris wheel," Hernandez's post read. "My 6yo sister and I were next in line, seconds from getting on when the ride wouldn’t stop going in circles. We even saw where people’s legs were getting crushed. Just stay safe!"

The Association said in the release there were no serious injuries and that they "have been in touch with the individuals that were on the ride at the time of the malfunction, and all are doing well."

"All rides were inspected by a professional inspector, trained in amusement ride setup prior to the carnival startup," the association said in a press release. "There was a mechanical failure with the ride, that could not have been seen during inspection."

According to the release, the ride was inspected at 8 a.m. on Thursday by the Culpeper County building officials. The ride will be closed until the new parts are installed, tested and reinspected by the licensed building inspector. 

The amusement company has been serving area fire companies for the past 13 years without an incident/accident, the press release continued.

(1) comment

Bonita Cubow

Uh - "There was a mechanical failure with the ride, that could not have been seen during inspection."????? Then what, exactly, is the point of the inspection??? Methinks safety standards need to be seriously improved before someone gets seriously injured or worse.

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