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Carnival Worker Dies Taking Down Ride

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SAND LAKE (AP) - A 41-year-old carnival worker died early Tuesday after apparently being shocked by a power line and falling about 36 feet while taking down a 60-foot-high ride in southwestern Michigan, authorities said.

An autopsy will determine whether Steven McCann, of Jackson, was electrocuted or died because of the fall in Sand Lake, where an Independence Day weekend festival had wrapped up, police Chief Ken Williams told The Grand Rapids Press.

“This ride would come in direct contact with the power line when it was raised or lowered for assembly or disassembly,” Williams said.

The roller coaster-style ride, called the Fireball, sends passengers upside down on a circular track.

McCann was standing atop the ride and apparently using a wooden post to push the power line away as the ride was lowered, Williams said. The ride was not near the power line when it was used by riders, he said.

McDonagh Amusements owner Tom McDonagh said he recently purchased equipment so the ride didn’t have to be climbed to be dismantled. The man was one of about 30 employees in Sand Lake, about 25 miles northeast of Grand Rapids, for the carnival, McDonagh said.

“It’s just an unfortunate, terrible tragedy,” McDonagh said.

Police and the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating the death.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

 

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