Father recounts moment his daughter fell from Ferris wheel

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RICHMOND, Va., -- A father was brought to tears recounting the moment his daughter fell out of a Ferris wheel gondola at a carnival.

The accident happened at the Richmond Fall Carnival II located in the old K-Mart parking lot in the 6800 block of Midlothian Turnpike, Friday night.

Through the help of a translator, Hugo Garcia said his 12-year-old daughter was riding the Ferris wheel with two other boys when the gondola flipped over.

"Every time [the operator] stopped for more people it was like an aggressive stop," Garcia said. "I then saw it flip over and the doors open."

Garcia's daughter and the two boys fell out of the ride onto the platform several feet below.

In a Facebook Live, courtesy of witness Jessika Alvarado, children are heard crying and screaming while being rescued by fire officials.

Paramedics can be seen putting Garcia's daughter on a stretcher and wheeling her to an ambulance.

She suffered a seizure when she fell including a broken hand and badly bruised jaw, legs and feet. She was released from the hospital, Saturday morning

Witnesses said the two boys appeared to have suffered minor injuries.

"We saw them literally flew out of that thing," Nataly Rivera said. "They went straight down."

Richmond Fall Carnival II is operated by Dreamland Amusement, which is based out of Lake Tahoe, NV according to its website.

A man at the office referred CBS 6 to call the corporate number. The company has not responded to several calls and emails requesting comment.

The carnival was back open for its last day on Saturday.

A Richmond amusement device inspector said he reinspected the Ferris wheel Saturday morning and deemed it safe to operate. However, he stated the gondola that flipped was restricted from being used by operators.

This is the third time of 2017 Dreamland Amusement has operated rides in Richmond. The city has not issued the company a citation regarding ride safety, according to the inspector.

"This is all about the health of my child," Hugo Garcia said. "I have a concern that if this could happen to me it could happen to another parent."

The incident is under investigation.

We've reached out to Richmond Police and Fire for more information.

Stay with CBS 6 for the latest on this developing story.

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