'He's lost his hand': Contractor injured while inspecting Windseeker at Carowinds

A contractor was transported to the hospital Wednesday morning after severing his hand while inspecting the Windseeker at Carowinds, witnesses told FOX 46.

The third-party contractor had to be rescued from the ride around 9 a.m. Wednesday, March 6. He was safely lowered to the ground and was immediately taken to the hospital, Carowinds officials said. 

Caleb Bryan was working inside Carowinds when he heard screaming and looked up.

“He said ‘my hand's cut off. It's bleeding everywhere. I'm scared. I need help real bad!’" 

A Carowinds official says the man was inspecting the ride, which is a 301-foot-tall swing-- the second tallest attraction at the park. 

“He had his hand on the pulley or something and the ride somehow got tripped and started pulling up and it caught his hand and it pulled it off or cut it off,” Bryan said. 

Fire crews from Charlotte and York county responded to calls for a high rise rescue. 

“He just kept saying ‘someone please hurry. I’m bleeding out.’”

Bryan says the worker was alone at the top of the ride. He was trapped for more than five minutes with his wound wrapped in a rag.

“He was so high up, I think he started freaking out. I'm just glad he didn't pass out and bleed out.” 

Officials will only say the worker was lowered to the ground and immediately taken to the hospital. His condition and how the accident happened are both unknown at this time. 

Carowinds straddles the border of North and South Carolina. This ride is on the South Carolina side. The state agency that will inspect it before the park re-opens in a little over two weeks, saying: 

"This is a worker safety issue not a rider safety issue. The riding public would not be exposed to whatever hazard caused the worker to sustain a hand injury today. To get to the area where the accident occurred requires an aerial lift."

The ride passed inspection a year ago. OSHA is on site investigating looking for any violations that may have caused this incident. A report could take up to two months. 


The 911 call placed to York County Communications, in part: 

Dispatch: "York County 911, do you need police, fire or medical?"

911 Caller: "Uh, medical."

Dispatch: "Where do you need them to?"

911 Caller: "Uh, Carowinds Amusement Park." 

Dispatch: "What's going on there?"

911 Caller: "We got a man on the Windseeker, a big tower, over 200 feet tall, and he's screaming up there saying 'Bring the platform up, he's lost his hand.'"

Dispatch: "Say that again."

911 Caller: "It's a construction accident."

Dispatch: "Ahhh..."

911 Caller: "It's a construction accident. I believe somehow...he's lost his hand...or hurt his hand. He's up there screaming."