TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (NewsNation Now) — An evening of fun at a Michigan carnival might have ended in tragedy if not for the quick action of some other carnival goers.
Video shows a ride starting to go faster and then wobble dangerously with the base rocking off the ground.
“My hands were shaking so bad and I was just in shock,” said Joy Ogemaw, who filmed the video. “I can’t even imagine how the people on the ride felt and still feel.”
It happened at the National Cherry Festival in Michigan. The Magic Carpet ride is supposed to spin in circles but began malfunctioning violently on Thursday evening, swaying back and forth.
“First, like I heard a really loud bang and I saw the base of it slam into the ground,” Ogemaw said. “From there it got worse because then the ride just kept going.”
Witnesses ran to the ride’s base holding on to the connected fencing, acting as human anchors.
“The base of it was like one or two feet off the ground,” Ogemaw said.
It’s the latest in a string of rides gone wrong at festivals and fairs across the country.
In May this year, nearly two dozen people in Phoenix were suspended 20 feet above ground while sideways.
Even more terrifying, an 11-year-old lost his leg after falling while getting off a Branson, Missouri coaster in June. The child was trapped under the rails for over an hour.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission in 2019, there were 34,700 injuries on amusement attractions.
In 2020, there were far fewer due to the pandemic closures.
Since 2016, there have been 17 confirmed deaths including the tragic story from Adventureland in Iowa, where an 11-year-old was killed and his 15-year-old brother admitted to the ICU when their raft overturned just seconds into the river ride.
Experts say that more needs to be done to ensure rider safety.
“We need one set of amusement ride rules for the entire United States, not 50 states with different programs and different things that you look at,” said Ken Martin, an amusement ride expert. “We all need to be on the same page, the same verse at the same time.”
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