MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Eight people were sent to hospitals in the Memphis, Tennessee, area and six others were injured after they fell from a malfunctioning fair ride on Saturday afternoon.
Delta Fair owner Mark Lovell told WHBQ that a ride operator prematurely released the restraints on the MoonRaker ride.
He said no one suffered serious injuries. However, witnesses and riders said otherwise.
Shawn Owens told WHBQ he watched his children and his 11-year-old niece fall 30 feet from the MoonRaker ride at the Delta Fair in Memphis. He said the ride operator and fair officials tried to get the kids to "walk it off."
"(Fair officials) are lying to you," he said. "They are straight out lying to you that no one got hurt. I got one in the hospital banged up beyond belief."
Robert Kruger had planned a special day out for his son.
"Today was supposed to be a fun day," Kruger said. "Now here he is in the hospital."
Anna Jordon, 15, was on the ride.
"God was with us today," she said. "I'm so glad we did not die."
Anna was at the top of the ride when it stopped and her safety harness released. She was able to hang on and was not injured, but she described a chaotic scene as children were treated for their injuries.
"We thought it was just part of the ride and then it stopped. We were all holding on and everyone was screaming and crying," Anna said.
Kira Pesh, who was on the ride with her sister, echoed Anna.
"My sister and I thought she was going to fall completely off because she held onto the bar as it was going up," she said. "As the ride was up in the air, it stopped completely moving, but it was still shaking and all the release belts came up. Me and my sister and someone else next to me, we all fell on the bar."
The ride was closed after the accident.
This is not the first time people were injured at this year's fair. On Wednesday two workers were shocked setting up a ride.
The Shelby County Sheriff's Office said 14 people were thrown from the ride.
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