County fair ride that malfunctioned reopens after repairs, safety inspection

Loose, dangling chain hit seven riders, causing minor injuries

The "Wacky Worm" roller coaster ride at the Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton reopened Friday afternoon, a day after injuring seven people when it malfunctioned, according to fair spokeswoman April Mitchell.

The malfunction occurred at about 3 p.m. Thursday, causing minor injuries to five children and two adults.

Mitchell said a connector link on a chain appears to have pulled apart, causing the chain to dangle in front of the ride and hit the passengers.

Mitchell said the ride was shut down for inspection after the incident, and the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health cleared the ride for repair Thursday evening.

An independent ride inspector called Coulter & Associates is also reviewing the incident, Mitchell said.

Although a ride that injured a worker at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma last week was also called the Wacky Worm, Mitchell said the ride that malfunctioned Thursday is not the same one.

The Alameda County Fair's ride is owned and operated by Butler Amusements, Mitchell said. The Sonoma-Marin Fair uses Brass Ring Amusements' Midway of Fun.

On June 23, a worker's leg was severed below the knee at the Sonoma-Marin Fair when he tried to cross the Wacky Worm's tracks while the ride was in motion, fair officials said.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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Like this comment
Posted by SUE
a resident of Del Prado
on Jul 2, 2010 at 5:55 pm

I hope everyone is doing better, you are all in our thoughts.We went on the ride opening day, than on our way out the kids wanted to go one more time but, the ride was shut down because they were working on it, as it had just broke. Scarry!

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