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Ferris wheel basket flips over, sending three people to the hospital

PORT TOWNSEND, Washington-- A basket on a ferris wheel flipped over May 18th, sending a 7-year-old boy, a 47-year-old woman, and a 59-year-old woman plummeting 15 feet to the ground, slamming into the metal landing at the bottom of the ride.

All are now in the hospital. The 59-year-old had to be airlifted to a Seattle trauma center in critical condition. Firefighters say the door of the ferris wheel basket the three were riding in was not open. Instead, the whole tub flipped over.

Parents and organizers of the annual festival are left wondering how this could happen. Festival president Debbie LaFollett's kids were on the ride when the tub flipped. She recalls, "When the bucket flipped, whatever happened, those people had fallen out and our kids were still at the top. That whole time, during that process, workers were keeping them safe and getting them off."

The president of the company that operates the ride says this is the first time they've had an accident like this happen.

The fire department says they inspected all rides at the festival, including the ferris wheel, but says that's not a guarantee against accidents.

Amusement park rides send 2,500 people to the emergency room each year, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.