Fair officials apologize for downplaying ride injuries

Posted at 5:30 PM, Sep 05, 2016

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Officials at fair in Memphis where eight riders were hurt say they were told initially by first responders that there were no visible injuries.

Fair officials didn't learn the extent of the injuries until the riders were taken to a hospital, they said. In a statement Sunday, officials apologized for originally downplaying the injuries. Among them were a fractured leg, wrist and collarbone.

"Our apologies and condolences go out to the individuals on the ride involved, and also to everyone that was under the impression that we were trying to mislead you," the statement said. "In no way were our intentions to mislead or lie to anyone and certainly do not want to come across that way."

The injuries happened Saturday on the Moonraker, which spins around an axis and tilts up and down on an angle. Fair safety director Matt Snyder said the ride's computer detected a problem and immediately began safety shutdown. As the ride stopped spinning and began to descend, the operator panicked and pressed a manual override button that released lap bar safety restraints.

Some riders fell into the metal bars or slid out of their seats. No one fell off the ride, which has been shut down.

Additional inspections of the ride are planned.

The fair continues through Sept. 11.