Four children were injured when a ride malfunctioned at Omaha's Fun Plex amusement park Tuesday.
Fun Plex has been at 72nd and Q for 25 years and it's never had a problem like this. Riders on the Octopus said everything started out okay. "The ride was going fine and then all of a sudden I noticed it was going a little too fast and then all of a sudden it started going up and down and I was really freaking out because I didn't know what was going on," said Nicole Roberts. Her friend Ashley Lidgett also realized something was wrong. "I was on the top and my cart was the one that was bumping in with them which I knew wasn't right, but there was nothing I could really do. I was thinking, I wish they could stop the ride. But it just kept on going and the next thing I knew I heard glass breaking and girls screaming."
The injured girls were in seats that broke off, swinging under the ride. Glass light bulbs shattered, cutting them. "We're just glad that everyone is going to be okay and no one has been seriously injured," said Fun Plex's Naomi Barr. "We want to keep our track record going and definitely prevent anything like this from happening in the future." Both state inspectors and Fun Plex officials are trying to figure out where the ride failed. Fun Plex did stay open, with the swimming pool and the other rides operating as normal. Most parkgoers barely seemed to notice the commotion as they went along their way. This was the last weekday the park was scheduled to be open and crowds were light. While Fun Plex said no time is a good time for an accident, it was good that the ride wasn't full.
Charmaine Halverson was hospitalized in fair condition. Tuesday was her 12th birthday. Twelve-year-old Sarah Weidner, 12-year-old Ema Mulhall, and 12-year-old Hanah Grosman were all treated for their injuries and released.