Technical Rescue Team Assists With Ferris Wheel Incident

Sunday, June 28, 2009 - 7:02pm

The City of Madison Fire Department's Technical Rescue Team was called to assist in unloading passengers from a free-spinning Ferris wheel at Rhythm & Booms Sunday night.

The incident occurred around 8 p.m. when the drive cable of the ride came off of its track.

Midway workers and nearby police officers attempted to unload the 12-14 passengers on the ride by controlling the wheel manually, but the load become unbalanced and they lost control of the wheel.

At that point, the Department's Technical Rescue Team was called to the scene. The team attached ropes to each side of the wheel, securing the ropes to a fire engine on one side, and a semi-trailer truck on the other. Once the wheel was once again secured, the team was able to bring each seat on the ride around and passengers were off-loaded without further incident.

No passengers were injured. Two police officers received minor injuries when the wheel broke free the second time. They were assessed at the scene by Medic 8 and released.

The ferris wheel was immediately shut down and secured. The Department of Commerce was notified of the incident. The Commerce Department regulates carnival rides. An investigator from Commerce is expected to review the incident and inspect the ride on Monday.

  • Lori Wirth, 608-266-5947