KIRKWOOD, Mo. – Firefighters rescued seven people trapped in a carnival ride Friday night in Kirkwood.
Investigators say seven people were trapped in a cart of a carnival ride in the downtown district. People were stranded in carts anywhere from 10-40 feet in the air when the ride broke down around 10 p.m. Friday. The rescue operation took around a half-hour, but no injuries have been reported from the situation.
The ride is part of a weekend carnival called St. Peterfrest, which has been held for three-plus decades as a fundraiser for St. Pete Catholic Church. The company operating the ride, American Banner Amusements, has since removed the ride from the carnival.
Church officials say the ride broke down because a part broke. They also say this is the first time an incident like this has happened with one of the rides for St. Peterfest.
“St. Louis County came out on Friday and inspected all the rides,” said St. Peter church director Kevin Stillman. “They gave clearance, and we felt that we did our due diligence. These things do occur, but the thing I get back to is no one got hurt.”
Kirkwood fire chief Brian Zaitz says his fire crews have been trained for such situations. Firefighters used ropes, technical systems, and an aerial ladder to remove people from the ride safely. A Facebook post from the Kirkwood Fire/Rescue Department offers a look into the operation Friday night.
Coincidentally, the carnival ride rescue came hours after a rescue on the grounds of the Gateway Arch in downtown St. Louis. More than 20 people were rescued after a tram in the Arch ended up stuck for around two hours.