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Girl’s injury serves as reminder of need for stricter ride rules

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) A 15-month-old girl continues to fight for her life Sunday after she was hurt at a carnival Friday night. She’s in critical condition after her grandparents said she touched a fence outside a ride at the Towne West carnival. Her family believes she was shocked, but police have not confirmed that.

This comes after Kansas legislators asked to delay a bill that would require stricter penalties for inspections following a deadly accident at a Kansas City water park last summer involving a lawmaker’s son.

After we first aired our story Saturday, Brittni Thomason got a call from a lawmaker who’s been working on the bill.

The circumstances of this incident are still unknown, but the state representative said it’s a reminder of why stricter rules are needed to try to make carnivals safer.

The 15-month-old’s grandparents said she touched a fence near a bounce house when she went limp and lost consciousness.

Carnival officials said the bounce house was closed Saturday, but Eyewitness News saw kids were still inside it during that time.

Carnival officials said the attraction was not supposed to be operating, and we were told the kids were removed immediately.

Sunday, the bounce house wasn’t up or operating.

“We don’t know the circumstances, but if it could have been prevented through inspection or through a better maintenance, I feel bad that we didn’t get something passed like this before,” said State Representative John Whitmer.

Under the new law, Whitmer said the situation would have been handled differently.

“Make sure the rides aren’t used,” said Whitmer. “Make sure those cords, those cables aren’t moved, make sure the fencing isn’t moved…but that’s the new law. Under existing code that wasn’t the case, so they’re certainly not in violation using the ride again.”

Whitmer said this latest incident is a reminder to him how important the new legislation is for the state.

The girl’s family does not want to identify her at this time.

Legislators are proposing a delay in the amusement park law to accommodate The Department of Labor and vendors.


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