3 hospitalized after falling from Ferris wheel

by: KIRO7.com Updated:

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PORT TOWNSEND, Wash. - At least three people, including one child, fell 30 feet from a Ferris wheel at the Rhododendron Festival in Port Townsend, Washington, on Thursday night.

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A woman in her 70s, a woman in her 40s and her six-year-old child were airlifted to Harborview Medical Center. 

Police were told the ride made a grinding sound and something appeared to fall out. The cart slowly tipped over and dumped the passengers.

They tried to hold on, but fell violently, hitting the wheel near the 20-feet mark.

People on the scene said it appeared a pin or section came off the wheel, but it’s unclear what exactly fell out from the ride. 

Responders were told the cart was faulty, and the after-hours number for the State Department of Labor and Industries was called. A crew with Washington State's Labor and Industries department is investigating whether a part detached from the ride. 

The operators did not appear to notice immediately.

A fourth person refused treatment on scene, but it’s unclear whether that person fell out of the Ferris wheel. 

Celebrated the third week each May, the Rhody Festival in Port Townsend is a community tradition dating back to 1935. It honors the Washington State flower with its festival and scholarships.