Police have confirmed that a 16-year-old girl died and another was injured after they were both flung off a spinning carnival ride named the Sizzler in El Paso, Texas on Friday evening.
Three teenage girls aged 15 to 18, all from J.M. Hanks High School, were on the carnival ride at the time of the accident. The girl who did not survive was launched off the ride and into a metal barricade while the second girl suffered minor injuries. The first girl was rushed to the Del Sol Medical Center where she later died. The second was taken to University Medical Center. The third girl was unharmed.
The carnival was held in honor of the Dia de Los Ninos Fiesta at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in east El Paso. The Sizzler spins people around a central axis while its seats rotate.
Reports state that relatives of the surviving teenager told News Channel 9 and Fox News that the girls informed the ride operator that their seat-belts would not fasten properly. The operator apparently assured them that they would be safe even without the seatbelts. It was also related that only two people were supposed to be on the ride at a time. The teenager who survived the ordeal managed to hang on to the ride by tightly grasping her unfastened seat belt and the seat’s metal bars.
An investigation by the local police department’s Crime Against Persons is ongoing on whether Playtime Amusements Inc. did a thorough inspection of the Sizzler before the accident occurred. El Paso police representative Sgt. Enrique Carillo told local station Fox News that, “There’s inspections that are required, whether or not this vendor has been up to par with that hasn’t been determined. That’ll be revealed in the investigation.”