20/09/2017 12:05 PM AEST | Updated 20/09/2017 12:05 PM AEST

Ferris Wheel Operator Falls Off Ride Trying To Save 2 Kids

One of the kids kept saying, "I don’t want to die, I don't want to die."

A brave carnival employee risked life and limb to save two small boys trapped inside a Ferris wheel car dangling on its side.

The scary incident happened Friday at the Central Carolina Carnival in Greensboro, North Carolina.

A gondola carrying two boys, ages 5 and 7, got stuck on its side around 9:45 p.m.

Brittney Smith, who witnessed the malfunctioning ride told ABC News the boys held on to each other, "trying to protect one another from falling out," while a carnival worker attempted to rescue them.

That employee, Albert Irwin, climbed up to the car carrying the boys ― about 20 feet off the ground.

"One of them kept saying, 'I don't want to die, I don't want to die,'" Irwin told Inside Edition. He said he reassured them by saying, "You're not going to die; I'm here to help you."

Irwin was able dislodge the stuck gondola so that it started moving down to the ground so the kids could be taken out of the cart.

In the process, he slipped and fell to the ground, slamming another cart and a support beam on the way down, according to

Irwin broke his finger, but was back on the job the next day, according to

After it was restored to proper working condition and inspected by North Carolina Department of Labor officials, the Ferris wheel was back in service a day later, according to local station WXII.

However, the mother of one of the kids on the ride, identified only as Angela, said she was traumatized by the experience.

"There needs to be extra training or something," Angela told WGHP. "I will never go back to another fair. I will never put him on another ride like that."

Also on HuffPost
Polling, News, Analysis
All the latest from the 2020 presidential election from HuffPost reporters in the US and around the world