Terrified Girl Caught On Video Realizing She's Unbuckled On Mega Drop Ride

Footage circulating on TikTok shows the moment a girl realized she was not properly buckled into the Mega Drop ride as it ascended at the Greater Gulf State Fair in Alabama in early November.

The now-viral TikTok, which received nearly 40 million views and 52,000 comments, showed 9-year-old Isabella Carmichael realizing she was not properly buckled as the drop-tower ride began.

Carmichael's mother April Piper, or @aprilmomofseven, said she was home during the incident and her best friend took the children to the fair.

Now, the girl's family is fighting for better safety measures and training at amusement parks and state fairs.

Girl unbuckled on state fair ride
The 9-year-old's mother, April Piper, said her daughter thought she was going to die and is still traumatized by the incident. SnowMannn/iStock

'75+ Feet in Air'

"My 9-year-old daughter was not buckled in her seat as the ride started and it ascended 75+ feet in the air," Piper wrote on Facebook. "The only reason the ride stopped was because of my best friend and second mom to my daughter, screamed bloody murder at the three ride operators that were talking and playing amongst themselves."

Footage of the incident showed the young girl excitedly waiting for the ride to start as two ride operators walked by seemingly without double-checking the girl's safety harness.

The girl yelled that she was not buckled in and tried to lift the harness as the ride ascended high above the ground. The girl then screamed as Piper's friend tried to get the ride operator's attention.

Official Statement

Greater Gulf State Fair spokesperson Hillary Swatton confirmed to Newsweek that the girl's safety device was not properly secured on the ride.

"On Friday, November 4 at the Greater Gulf State Fair in Mobile, Alabama, one secondary safety device was not properly secured on the Mega Drop ride," the spokesperson said. "The primary shoulder and body restraint was secured and locked, which is required in order for the Mega Drop ride to start to operate."

The spokesperson added that during a visual inspection, the ride operators noticed the child's secondary safety device was not properly secured.

"The ride was slowly brought back down and the issue was immediately addressed. All employees manning the ride were re-trained," the spokesperson said.

Piper said a man was able to calm Carmichael, who told WPMI that she thought she was going to die.

The video, which was filmed by Piper's eldest son, showed the ride ascending before the ride operators checked the girl's safety harness.

"NOW we know this was the same type of ride that just killed another little boy recently...his bottom belt wasn't latched either...all I've gotten in response was an email," Piper said on TikTok. "My baby thought she was going to die literally."

Piper told a local TV station that she plans to pursue legal action.

Other Ride Incidents

In March, a 14-year-old boy was killed after falling more than 400 feet off the Mega Drop Tower at Orlando's ICON Park.

Tyre Sampson was allowed on the ride although it was later confirmed that the teen exceeded the weight limit.

"This is going to be an issue of lack of supervision and lack of training," the attorney representing Sampson's family said. "A straight-up negligence case."

In April, chilling footage showed a Florida ride operator at a county fair trapped inside a Hydra ride, which consists of a hanging claw that riders are strapped into.

Cellphone footage taken by Aurelia Smith showed the 28-year-old operator struggling as the metal floor structure squeezed on his upper abdomen and kept him from freeing his lower body.

In September, footage from the North Carolina State Fair showed a single-track coaster violently rattling with a detached cable swinging off the ride.

Newsweek reached out to April Piper for comment.