Miami-Dade County Fair ride where worker found dead to remain closed

Authorities continue to investigate how 23-year-old man died

By Peter Burke - Managing Editor

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - A Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition ride where a worker died in what police have described as a "mechanical error" will remain closed Thursday while the death investigation continues, although the fair is still open to the public.

Clinton Van-Kraayenburg, 23, was performing a routine inspection Wednesday on a new ride called The Hurricane when he was killed.

Bob Hohenstein, the fair's chief executive officer, said Thursday that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services are investigating what led to the worker's death.

"As soon as OSHA and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer (Services) finishes their work, we'll know a lot more than what we know right now," he said.

Hohenstein said Van-Kraayenburg worked for Showtime Rides Inc. The company is subcontracted by North American Midway Entertainment, which operates the rides at the fair.

Sky 10 flew above the fair Wednesday afternoon as a yellow tarp could be seen underneath the floor panel of the ride.

Although police have not confirmed how the man died, a fair worker said she heard that he was crushed by the ride.

The Hurricane was not in use at the time of the incident.

"It was an accident," Hohenstein said. "It was just a normal ride inspection."

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