The Latest: Police cite ‘mechanical failure’ in Ferris fall


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Latest on the accident in which three children fell from an eastern Tennessee Ferris wheel on Monday (all times local):

9 a.m.

Police are citing a mechanical failure in the accident that dumped three children from a Ferris wheel at Tennessee’s Greene County Fair.

Greeneville Police Capt. Tim Davis said at a news conference late Tuesday that the failure caused the basket to overturn and dump the girls some 30 to 45 feet to the ground.

According to media reports, he said police had not confirmed reports that the basket the girls were riding in was rocking before the accident.

The fall left a 6-year-old girl with a traumatic brain injury and sharpened the focus on how carnival rides are regulated. The state relies on private inspectors hired by operators and other states’ regulators to determine whether roller coasters, zip lines and Ferris wheels are safe.

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3:50 a.m.

Investigators haven’t yet determined how a Ferris wheel seat flipped over at a Tennessee county fair and sent three children plummeting 30 to 45 feet to the ground.

The accident left a 6-year-old girl with a traumatic brain injury and sharpened the focus Tuesday on how carnival ride operators are regulated.

After a 2014 audit found shortcomings in Tennessee’s regulatory program for rides at fairs and amusement parks, state officials decided to get out of the inspection business altogether.

Now, the state relies on private inspectors hired by operators and other states’ regulators to determine whether roller coasters, zip lines and Ferris wheels are safe.

Authorities say the three youngsters fell from the ride at the Greene County Fair in eastern Tennessee on Monday night.

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