Ride operator killed while doing maintenance at Florida fair

MIAMI (AP) — Authorities say a ride operator is dead after a malfunction at the Miami-Dade County Fair and Exposition.

Miami-Dade police spokeswoman Jennifer Capot said during a news conference that the 23-year-old man was performing routine maintenance on the ride Wednesday when he was fatally injured.

The apparent accident occurred about 15 minutes before the fair was set to open, so no guests were there. The fair eventually opened, but Capot said the area was closed to visitors while homicide detectives investigated.

The rides at the fair are operated by Indiana-based North American Midway Entertainment. General manager Tony Diaz told reporters the ride operator worked for his company, not the fair.

The Miami Herald (http://goo.gl/g3ysOl ) reports that the ride involved is called the Hurricane, which features six cars that spin around a central tower.

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