A teenage girl was killed when she was flung from a spinning carnival ride called “The Sizzler.”
She and another girl were ejected from the ride at a Dia De Los Nios carnival about 7 p.m. Friday at St. Thomas Aquinas Church. A third girl suffered minor injuries.
Police said one of the girls was taken to University Medical Center with injuries that were not considered life-threatening. The other girl was take ti Del Sol Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.
El Paso police spokesman Enrique Carrillo said all three girls are between the ages of 15 and 18.
“We do not know the cause,” Carrillo said Friday night. “Crimes Against Persons in just beginning their investigation and all that has yet to be determined.”
Elizabeth O’Hara, the spokeswoman for the Catholic Diocese of El Paso, said the three girls were the only girls on the ride at the time.
“Two of the girls were thrown from the ride. One of them ended up hitting some metal barriers,” O’Hara said. “She was thrown in that with a lot of force.”
O’Hara said the rides belong to Las Cruces-based PlayTime Amusement, and they are used by several parishes. She said the owner and the operator were both at the scene and are cooperating with investigators.
“This was an owner and operator that parish was familiar with, they had used before, and had not had any problems previous to tonight,” O’Hara said.
In 2014, a 13-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl were injured at the St. Anthony Bazaar when they fell from a ride called the “Side-Winder.”
O’Hara said the Side-Winder was operated by a different vendor.
The accident remains under investigation with no other details being released. St. Thomas Aquinas Church is located on the 10900 block of Bywood near Pebble Hills and Lee Trevino.
“You know, when you receive a phone like this, you really kinda hope that you guys have gotten the information wrong,” O’Hara told reporters. “To be perfectly honest, I just thought, ‘There is no way that this really happened.’ … To see that a young girl has been killed and one has been injured, it’s devastating. It hurts the community. It hurts the diocese of El Paso.”