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Girl Fell to her Death from Ferris Wheel

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Wildwood, NJA young girl plunged 100 feet to her death from a Ferris Wheel fall Friday, June 3. The 156-foot-tall Ferris wheel on Mariner’s Landing at Morey’s Piers was turning when the amusement park accident occurred. The cause of the fall is still unknown but the 11-year-old fell from the upper half of the ride, Wildwood police said in a statement. The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs is conducting an investigation into the girl’s death.

According to the Associated Press, Abiah Jones of Pleasantville was with her classmates from Pleasant Tech Academy when she fell from the ride at 12:30 pm yesterday. She was driven to hospital but pronounced dead 45 minutes later. Police said that the tragedy did not appear to be intentional and it is—for now anyway—being referred to as a “freak accident”.

It appears that the girl was by herself in one of the car's passenger gondolas, which is secured with a double latch. “The door of the car opens inward, making it difficult to climb out of,” said Will Morey, president and CEO of the Morey Organization, which owns the amusement park. “The girl's body was found in the passenger loading area of the ride on the boardwalk, leading authorities to believe she fell from near the top of the ride because that's the trajectory she would have followed as she fell.”

The Ferris wheel was built in 1985 and passed an inspection just a few months ago. So far there doesn’t appear to be a mechanical problem with the ride, but it will remain closed until the investigation is over, said Morey.

“The odds of being seriously injured at one of the United States' 400 fixed-site amusement parks are 1-in-9 million,” said Colleen Mangone, a spokeswoman for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. However, the National Safety Council reports that the estimated number of amusement ride-related injuries on fixed-site rides nationwide was 1,086 or 0.6 per million patron rides in 2010.

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