Three girls were injured after falling at least 30 feet from a Ferris wheel at a county fair in eastern Tennessee on Monday evening. Two of the girls are in stable condition while another, who suffered a traumatic brain injury, is in critical condition.
According to Dr. Bracken Burns, director of trauma services for Johnson City Medical Center, the youngest of the victims, a 6-year-old, suffered the head injury and had to be intubated at the scene and taken to a hospital.
“She has been under the continual care of the pediatric surgery service, the pediatric intensive care unit team as well as the neurosurgery team,” Burns said during a Tuesday news conference.
Burns said the girl’s sister, who is 10, suffered injuries to her forearms and was in a cast. A third victim, 16, was initially considered to be in critical condition but has improved to stable.
At the request of the oldest girl’s family, he did not provide details about her specific injuries, Burns said.
The incident took place about 6:15 p.m. Monday at the Greene County Fair in Greeneville, Tenn. Capt. Tim Davis of the Greeneville police department told reporters the girls fell out when the car they were riding in flipped.
“Greene County 911 had been contacted from the fairgrounds, telling them there had been an accident with the Ferris wheel. One of the cars or baskets had overturned and three children had fallen out. They fell a distance of anywhere between 35 and 45 feet,” Davis said.
Gregory Lynthacum told ABC News he saw the events unfold.
“I was hollering, ‘Please stop! Stop! Stop the machine!’ It seemed like it was a millennium before it stopped,” Lynthacum said. “I’d seen blood coming from their mouth. I actually thought they were dead. It was so horrific.”
According to the Greeneville Sun, all rides at the fair will remain closed until independent inspectors complete their safety examinations.
The Tennessee incident happened a day after a 10-year-old boy was killed while riding a Kansas waterslide billed as the world’s tallest.
The Associated Press reports:
“Details remained murky about what happened Sunday to Caleb Thomas Schwab on the 168-foot-tall “Verruckt” — German for “insane” — that since its debut two years ago has been the top draw at Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kansas.
“Kansas City, Kansas, police issued a statement late Monday afternoon saying that Caleb suffered a fatal neck injury around 2:30 p.m. while he was riding the slide with two women, neither of whom was related to him. They suffered minor facial injuries and were treated at an area hospital, police said.
“Emergency responders arrived to find the boy dead in a pool at the end of the ride, according to the statement, which offered no further details.”