Complaint made about NC State Fair ride days before it malfunctioned, injuring five

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RALEIGH, N.C. — A complaint that was made about a ride that malfunctioned at the N.C. State Fair Thursday night was reveled by Fair officials in a press conference Friday.

The incident that injured five people happened around 9:17 p.m. on a ride called the Vortex.

Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said an initial investigation showed the ride had stopped and people were getting off when it suddenly started up again.

He said two people suffered serious injuries and three others had minor injuries. Some of the people injured may have been family members. A ride operator was also among the injured.

All the victims were between the ages of 14 and 39 years old, according to the Sheriff Donnie Harrison. Authorities said they requested their names not be released.

WTVD reported that as of Friday morning, three of the victims were still at WakeMed Hospital, with one person in critical condition.

In the press conference, N.C. State Fair officials said they do not train ride operators, the ride companies do, and they just monitor that the operators are paying attention.

However during the news conference, Harrison said they are treating their investigation as criminal — as they do every investigation.

They also revealed a complaint about the Vortex ride was filed Monday night about a bad switch on the system that locks passengers into the seat. They said a repair was made and the ride was later reopened.

Harrison has urged anyone with video of the accident or the aftermath to contact the Sheriff’s Office.

The fair is operating on normal schedule Friday, but the Vortex ride will remain closed.

Fair officials said they hope Thursday’s “isolated thing” will not impact people enjoying the last weekend of the fair.

Read more: WTVD

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