The Wildwood boardwalk amusement park that closed after an 11-year-old girl plummeted to her death Friday from a Ferris wheel was reopened Saturday as state and local investigators continued to probe what caused the fall.
Morey's Mariner's Landing Pier, where the 156-foot-high Great Wheel is located, and Surfside Pier both opened at noon Saturday, said Morey's Piers spokeswoman Lindsey Young. The Raging Waters water park reopened at 10 a.m., and Adventure Pier opened at 2 p.m. Young said those were the normal opening hours.
Abiah Jones of Pleasantville fell from the Ferris wheel about 12:30 p.m. The park closed at 5 p.m. instead of the usual 11 p.m.
The Ferris wheel will be out of service until further notice, Young said.
Police and the state Department of Community Affairs, which inspects amusement rides, were continuing their investigations, she said.
Abiah was alone in one of the gondolas, according to Anthony Leonetti, Wildwood commissioner of public safety.
Young did not say Saturday whether Abiah was tall enough according to the ride's posted regulations to be riding alone, adding that all such details were under investigation. Rules require adults to accompany children shorter than 54 inches.
Authorities on Saturday said they did not note any obvious mechanical deficiencies. The state last inspected the wheel on March 17, said Hollie A. Gilroy, a spokeswoman for the consumer affairs agency.
Abiah was at the park on a school trip with classmates from the PleasanTech Academy Charter School. The park was holding its 17th annual Education Extravaganza, a two-day affair that draws thousands of schoolchildren each year.
The Great Wheel opened in 1985. Friday's tragedy was the first fatality involving a patron on an attraction in the history of the park, which dates to 1969, according to Young.
On Facebook, a page called "R.I.P. Abiah Jones who fell off the Morey's Pier Ferris Wheel" was getting an outpouring of comments from people who did not know the child or her family but who wanted to offer their condolences.
Others said they knew Abiah.
"Rest In Peace Lil Cousin," posted Jah-Quanah Dockery. "we Had So Much Fun Together . . . You And Your Many Questions That You Always Had For Me . . . I Love You Baby Girl . . . You Will Never Be Forgotten . . . And Will Always Remain Dear To My Heart."