As Oktoberfest nears, local cities and counties hold their respective fairs leading up to the big kickoff next weekend. As expected, there is family fun with pony rides, roller coasters and carousel rides.
However a "Volksfest" in Hemau (Oberpfalz) took a horrific turn when three young girls got on a carousel; their compartment broke off and they were severly injured. An eyewitness reported that the compartment was hanging by the ropes after the metal protection broke off and then screams could be heard.
One girl was thrown from the compartment as it hit metal pillars and she fell to the wooden floor of the ride, striking her head and suffered a skull fracture. Her sisters suffered a broken collarbone and an concussion, respectively. Two of the girls have since left hospital.
Reasons for the cart breaking off are not yet clear. The local prosecutor's office is investigating the accident and the ride will be tested and made secure again.