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Teen Killed on Carnival Ride

March 20, 1998

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) _ A 15-year-old girl was killed and two youngsters were slightly injured when they were thrown off a carnival ride called the ``Himalaya,″ which whips people around an undulating track at high speeds.

The girl, whose name was not released, was on the ride with her 9-year-old brother and a 16-year-old friend Thursday evening at the annual Austin/Travis County Livestock Show and Rodeo.

Officials declined to speculate on what caused the accident, which happened when the sled-like compartment in which the three youths were riding hit a rise in the circular track.

The 15-year-old girl’s arms flew up, her head went back and her legs went into the air as she was thrown, said Charlene Quintero, 11, who was standing near the ride at the time.

Witnesses said the girl was thrown into a wall. She suffered head, neck and chest injuries, and died at the scene.

The 16-year-old girl was also thrown off the ride. She and the boy were treated at a hospital and released.

Officials said the ``Himalaya″ was inspected March 9 by Bob Gill and Associates, a Brandon, Fla., company.

The owner of the ride, B and B Amusement, Inc. of Yuma, Ariz., declined comment. The company purchased the ride from Reverchon, a French manufacturer, according to the Outdoor Amusement Business Association.

It was the first serious accident at the rodeo in at least 14 years, according to rodeo spokesman Jeff Nash.

The ``Himalaya″ was shut down indefinitely, but the other rides will be open through the end of the rodeo on Sunday, officials said.

``We have been assured the rides are safe,″ said rodeo spokesman Lynn Segall.

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