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Child Dies From Roller Coaster Injury

September 11, 2001 GMT

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YORK, Pa. (AP) _ A child died after suffering internal injuries when a roller coaster stopped too suddenly, an official at a county fair said.

The child, whose name and age were not available Monday night pending notification of the family, died during an operation for internal injuries, York County Deputy Coroner Claude W. Stabley II said.

An autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday morning.

The child was riding the Flitzer roller coaster when ``the brake stopped the ride too quickly,″ said Gene Schenck, vice president of the York Fair. Schenck said he was unsure if riders are held in the car with a seat belt, bar or other device.

Up to three people ride in a single car on the ride, instead of a train of cars. The ride lasts a minute or two and the track has tight turns and a short drop.

The ride was ending when the boy was hurt, Schenck said. The coaster stopped short, hurling the boy forward, he said.

At first, he said, the boy’s injuries did not appear to be serious and he was taken to the fair’s first-aid center. He was later taken to a hospital, where died about an hour after the accident, Stabley said.

Schenck said the ride was closed after the accident so state inspectors could examine it. The results of that inspection were not immediately known.

The ride was reopened, Schenck said, and then closed down again after officials learned of the child’s death.

State inspectors will return Tuesday to investigate what caused the boy’s injuries, Schenck said. On Monday night, police officers and local officials interviewed witnesses of the accident.

The last death at the York Fair was in 1994, when a teen-ager was killed on a log flume ride. The death was ruled accidental.

The York Fair runs through Sunday.