10-year-old dies after being thrown from festival ride

BRIDGETON, N.J. (AP) — A 10-year-old girl died after plunging from an amusement park ride at a harvest festival in southern New Jersey over the weekend, authorities said.

Troopers were called to the Deerfield Township Harvest Festival in Cumberland County after the girl was "ejected" from a Wisdom Super Sizzler "Extreme" ride Saturday evening, state police said. The girl was airlifted to Cooper University hospital, where she was pronounced dead, police said.

The girl's name wasn't immediately released. The cause and circumstances of her death remain under investigation, police said.

The festival said on its website that rides were provided by Skelly's Amusements, of Williamstown, which said on its Facebook page that it was "absolutely heartbroken" by the death.

"Words cannot express our feelings and we extend our deepest sympathies to the individual's family and loved ones. We ask that you keep them in your thoughts," the statement said.

Skelly's, which was founded in 1956 and provides rides, games and food concessions for fairs, carnivals and festivals, said it is "fully cooperating" with investigations by state police and the carnival and amusement ride unit in the state Department of Community Affairs.

Festival organizers canceled Sunday's parade and said amusement rides and games were temporarily closed pending completion of a state inspection of the rides. All other scheduled festival events were to continue.

Organizers also extended thoughts and prayers to the family and said the festival would remain open "to offer a place for the community to come together in wake of this tragedy."

Skelly's earlier said that, based on the preliminary investigations, it had been "cleared to operate the remaining rides" at the festival.