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State Police: Transmission Problem Led To Norwalk Ride Failure

Norwalk Police and Fire crews respond to a ride malfunction that sent 15 people to local hospitals at the Oyster Festival on Sunday.
Norwalk Police and Fire crews respond to a ride malfunction that sent 15 people to local hospitals at the Oyster Festival on Sunday. Photo Credit: Rick Reardon

Update, 6 p.m.: All of the children injured in Sunday's accident have now been released from the hospital, Norwalk Police said. The last patient, an 8-year-old boy, was discharged after treatment for non-life-threatening injuries Monday afternoon.

NORWALK, Conn. – Officials believe that an “internal component failure” in the transmission of a swing ride caused Sunday’s accident at the Norwalk Oyster Festival, according to the Connecticut State Police.

The “Zumur” swing ride stalled during operations Sunday afternoon, injuring 15 of the 23 people on the ride at the time, police said. Of those injured, 13 were taken to hospitals in Norwalk, Bridgeport and Stamford for further treatment, and all but one had been released by Sunday night.

Injuries “ranged from minor contusions to significant lacerations,” Connecticut State Police said in a press release.

The ride operator told police that he had heard a bang, and the ride stalled suddenly during the incident, Norwalk Police said. The state police Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit were called in to inspect the ride after the malfunction.

“Troopers have determined that an internal component failure in the area of the transmission involving seizure of bearings caused the ride to stop suddenly,” State Police said in a release Monday morning. “This investigation is continuing.”

Trumbull-based Stewart Amusement, which operated all of the rides at the Oyster Festival, said on its website that the ride, and all of its equipment, was inspected by company engineers as well as state and local officials before the festival. The company also confirmed the state police’s determination that the cause of the incident was a mechanical error.

“Our first and only concern is for the well-being of those involved and their families,” Stewart Amusement wrote on its website Monday. “We are continuing to cooperate with authorities as they investigate into the root cause of the accident.”

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