Five people, ages 14 to 39, were hospitalized following injuries caused by a ride at the North Carolina State Fair, WRAL reports. The ride operator was among the injured. Two were critically hurt, and some of those hurt were members of the same family, says the Wake County sheriff, per WNCN. The ride, called the Vortex, reportedly consists of a main hydraulic arm and cars with individual rotating arms. It "had stopped, and they were fixing to offload when the ride started off again, but that is preliminary," says the sheriff.
Witnesses report having heard a crashing sound. "It just sounded like a bunch of stuff hitting metal. And that was it. There was no screaming," one tells WNCN. Another says two people were lying face down, while the operator was on his knees in tears. (Read more North Carolina stories.)