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2 Killed, 2 Hurt on Roller Coaster

August 29, 1999

OCEAN CITY, N.J. (AP) _ Two people were killed and two others injured Saturday night after an accident on a roller coaster at an amusement park on the beachfront Boardwalk.

Police said the 10 p.m. accident at Gillian’s Wonderland Pier was caused by a mechanical malfunction. Witnesses said one car crashed into the rear of another on the Wild Wonder ride at the park in this resort town about 10 miles south of Atlantic City.

A child and an adult were killed, said Heidi King, nursing supervisor at Shore Memorial Medical Center. Another child and adult were treated and released, she said.

Victims’ ages and identities were not immediately available.

Robert Lee, 11, who lives a few hundred feet from the pier, said he heard a crash and thought it was a car or truck coming to a sudden stop on the street. He said a police officer told him that one roller coaster car got stuck on the tracks.

``The car behind it came in and hit it from the rear and knocked the people in the first car out of the car,″ he said.

E.J. Miranda, a spokesman for the state Department of Community Affairs, said inspectors would be at Wonderland Pier on Sunday to check the roller coaster.

``The ride will remain shut down while that investigation takes place and won’t reopen until we’re satisfied that we know what happened, why it happened and that it won’t happen again,″ Miranda said.

Kathleen McAlary, a spokeswoman for Wonderland Pier, refused to comment and requested that a reporter leave.

The Wild Wonder is a two-story roller coaster with cars designed to look like animals.

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