Ferris wheel breaks down; 17 stranded for three hours
By Tom Kertscher of the Journal Sentinel
Racine - Seventeen people spent three hours Saturday stuck on a malfunctioning Ferris wheel, chilled by high winds and intermittent rain and waiting to be rescued, Mayor John Dickert said.
"They were pretty cold. We got them blankets, but we couldn't get them off until we stabilized it," Dickert said from the scene.
The amusement ride was part of the attractions at Party on the Pavement, a downtown street festival just off the lakefront.
"Somebody heard a very loud noise and there was little jolt in the whole structure and then it stopped. At least that's what eyewitnesses told us," Dickert said.
The ride stopped about 12:30 p.m. and the rescue wasn't complete until about 3:30 p.m., Dickert said.
The main problem was that the structure needed to be stabilized with front-end loaders before firefighters used ladders to remove the riders, many of whom were children.
Journal Sentinel correspondent Tim Stein contributed to this report.
Racine Fire Units on scene included Engine 1, Truck 1, Special Teams 1, Rescue 1, Rescue 2, Rescue 6, Rescue 8, Car 43 Safety Officer and Car 41 Command.
Assiting the Racine Fire Department with the incident were Caledonia Fire & Rescue Truck 253, Rescue 232, South Shore Fire and Rescue ALS Rescue 134, the Racine Department of Public Works, Floyd's Towing, the Racine Police Department and a Rehab-Emergency Support Unit from the Racine Fire Bells.