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Five hurt in North Carolina state fair ride accident

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (Reuters) - Five people were injured late Thursday, two seriously, when a carnival ride at the North Carolina State Fair suddenly restarted as passengers were exiting their seats after the ride ended, fair and law enforcement officials said.

The injured, including one of the ride operators, were taken to a Raleigh hospital. They ranged in age from 14 to 39 years old, said Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison.

Two people had been released and three remained hospitalized on Friday, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Harrison said reports of how the incident occurred were preliminary.

State Department of Labor workers will investigate whether the ride malfunctioned and if it was properly inspected, officials said.

The ride, one of two at the fairgrounds called the Vortex, is new this year to North Carolina's annual state fair, officials said. The fast-moving attraction spins and flips passengers upside down.

(Reporting by Colleen Jenkins)