Arkansas Labor Department investigates Benton Co. fair accident

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It could take weeks before the reports are released.

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BENTON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA) – The Arkansas Labor Department stepping in after a ride at the Benton Co. fair sends two people to a hospital. 

The ride was still on fairgrounds Monday afternoon as state investigators worked to find out what caused it to derail. Benton County Fire officials say three people including a mother and her child were hurt when the jungle ride went off its tracks. 

“Well, I was kind of shocked,” Executive Director of Rodeo of The Ozarks Rick Culver said. The company Pride Amusements is based out of Joplin but is no stranger to Northwest Arkansas, it’s been used at carnivals hosted by Rodeo of the Ozarks over the past ten years. 

“I don’t know of any problems because they’ve done various places in Northwest Arkansas all these years and I think they’re a good organization,” Culver said.  

Culver says they have Pride Amusements booked for their upcoming fall carnival. He says the board will look at the state’s investigation report and will decide from there whether to keep the company around. “Accidents happen and we all understand that but with us, it’s never happen here and they’ve always done a great job for us,” Culver said. 

The owner of Pride Amusements tells us the ride passed inspections by the state before opening and even passed inspections done earlier that day. He also tells us the family hurt is doing okay. “It will not be up anytime soon until all the investigation is done and the manufacture makes the proper repairs,” James Burlingame said. 

In its investigation– the Arkansas Department of labor is reviewing inspection reports, looking at maintenance records and manufacturer specifications. We’re told it could be up to three weeks before the findings of the report are released. 

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