A tense moment was caught on camera at a North Carolina fair Friday night as a Ferris wheel malfunctioned, leaving two children clinging to each other inside a tilted carriage as a carnival worker fell from the ride while trying to help.
The accident occurred at the Central Carolina Fair in Greensboro at 9:45 p.m. after the Ferris wheel operator had to temporarily shut down the ride when one of the carriages “began to tilt out of its normal position.” The operator “followed safety procedures to safely unload all passengers,” the Central Carolina Fair said in a statement released on Saturday.
An employee with Michael’s Amusements sustained minor injuries while attempting to adjust the gondola car back into place. He was treated on scene before being transported to a local hospital and has since been released, according to fair officials.
The Greensboro Police Department said the worker sustained non-life threatening injuries when he fell from the malfunctioning ride.
Video of the incident taken by eyewitnesses shows the worker falling to the ground as he attempts to fix the malfunctioning carriage.
One eyewitness told ABC News that two little boys were on the Ferris wheel at the time of the incident.
Brittney Smith, 28, of High Point, North Carolina, was at the Central Carolina Fair with her family Friday night when the ride malfunctioned. Smith told ABC News the boys were riding in the same gondola car together when it suddenly tilted sideways.
Smith, who was watching the incident unfold from below, said the boys were holding on to each other, “trying to protect one another from falling out,” while carnival workers climbed up the Ferris wheel to help.
As one of the workers climbed onto the tilted carriage the boys were in, the car suddenly flipped back into place and began swinging back and forth, causing the worker to fall off the ride. The other workers then pulled the Ferris wheel down so the boys could exit the ride, Smith said.
Smith said the employee who fell had a cut on his leg, but didn’t appear to have other injuries.
“Everyone was OK for the most part. I think maybe the little boys probably suffered from shock,” Smith told ABC News in a telephone interview Saturday. “They were pretty shaken.”
Central Carolina Fair spokesman Andrew Brown wouldn’t confirm whether any children were in the tilted gondola car at the time.
“We are waiting on the report from state officials with other details,” Brown told ABC News in an email. “The worker was attempting to adjust that carriage so the wheel could be safely rotated to unload all the passengers safely.”
The gondola car was restored to “proper working condition” Friday night and was re-inspected by officials from the North Carolina Department of Labor. State officials approved the Ferris wheel ride to return to use Saturday, according to the Central Carolina Fair.
ABC News’ Dominick Proto and Rex Sakamoto contributed to this report.