Riders stranded on FL carnival ride

March 30, 2010 1:57:57 PM PDT
One of two people stranded high in the air aboard a stalled fair ride for nearly an hour in South Florida on Tuesday said she'd be willing to give the Space Roller another try. Both riders were rescued and no one was reported injured at the Miami-Dade County Fair, officials said. The ride stalled at 1:54 p.m. with the two riders strapped in the leather seats turned horizontally with their legs dangling.

"It all of a sudden stopped," said stranded rider 18-year-old Shankia Tinsley. "I thought they were just trying to scare us a little bit."

Tinsley of Miami said it was a "cool experience," and that she'd give it another go sometime.

She said she did grow a bit impatient because she wanted to try other attractions.

"I was just laughing," Tinsley said. "I was OK."

Around 2:45, the ride was slowly moving again toward the ground before Tinsley and the other rider, 20-year-old Megan Dewey, got off.

"It happens. It happens everywhere," said Dewey's mother, Maggie. "It's an accident."

Tony Diaz, general manager of North American Midway, which operates the Space Roller, said the exact cause of the disruption hasn't been determined. He said the ride is 12 years old and won't reopen until officials pinpoint the problem.

"People are safe, absolutely," he said.

The ride stalled about two hours after the fair, which runs through April 11, had opened for the day.

Paul Smith, a division chief for Miami-Dade fire rescue, said units were dispatched, including special trucks with longer ladders. Authorities ultimately didn't need the ladders, however, because the ride was lowered using its own hydraulic system.

"No injuries. No distress," Smith said. "No nothing."


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