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3 die in accidents at Ohio theme park

A thrill-seekers' ride sat quiet Monday and a beer garden was deserted while federal and state investigators looked for clues to explain two freak accidents that took three lives at an amusement park. Officials at the Kings Island Amusement Park said it will be later this week before technical experts can determine what caused the nearly simultaneous accidents Sunday night.

A woman died after falling off the Flight Commander ride, and two men, including a park employee, were electrocuted in a pond at the beer garden. Another man shocked in the pond remained hospitalized Monday.

The first accident occurred at 8:48 p.m. Sunday, when a man got into a pond that surrounds the beer garden and received a jolt of electricity.

Two other men went into the pond, evidently trying to rescue him, Edwards said. They, too, were jolted by electricity.

William Haithcoat of Cincinnati and park security officer Darrell Robertson of Hamilton, both 20, were pronounced dead at University of Cincinnati Medical Center, hospital spokesman Carey Hoffman said.

Timothy Benning, 22, of Cincinnati, was taken to Bethesda North Hospital in Cincinnati, where he was in good condition. Benning was identified as the first man in the pond.

Visitors aren't allowed in the pond, which surrounds the beer garden. Edwards said an aerator is used at the pond but that the source of the electrical shock had not been determined.

In another section of the park, Candy Taylor, 32, of Toledo, fell from one of the Flight Commander capsules at 9:25 p.m. She was pronounced dead at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton.

The $2-million ride features capsules that are raised 60 feet off the ground and then controlled by riders. The capsules can be made to dive, climb and roll.

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