(WADE COUNTY, N.C.) -- An apparent ride malfunction at the North Carolina State Fair sent five people to the hospital Thursday night.
It's unclear what caused the malfunction, but several agencies are investigating the incident. Preliminary accounts by witnesses were that the ride was stopped, but started to run again while operators attempted to off-load riders, police said.
Five people ranging in age from 14 to 39 were transported to the hospital with injuries. Some victims were related, but police aren't certain about their connections yet. One of the injured was said to be one of the ride's operators.
"One of the injury-- injured persons were, or was, one of the ride operators helping out at the time," said Wade County Sheriff Donnie Harrison at a press conference Thursday night.
Harrison says everyone is working hard to make sure all the rides are safe.
"As sad as it is, we want people to come out and have fun. It'll be safe. We'll do everything we can to make it safe for the families that come and the main thing is to keep those that got hurt tonight in our prayers," he said.
A spokesman for the state fair expressed his concern and agreed the injured would be in everyone's thoughts.
"This has shaken all of us a little bit," said state fair press spokesman Brian Long. "And we definitely have these folks in our thoughts and prayers tonight."
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