NEW YORK— In its annual report of carnival and amusement park fatalities released Thursday, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that 40,000 riders lost their lives in Ferris wheel accidents during the summer of 2011. "Approximately 18,000 riders slipped out of their safety restraints and fell, suffering repeated traumas as they hit each spoke of the moving wheel on their way to the ground," said OSHA spokesperson Ben Simmons, who cited routine wear on the machines as the underlying cause of most fatalities. "We estimate 9,500 were engulfed in flames, 4,600 starved to death, and 17 fell victim to the Ferris Wheel Slasher, who is evidently still at large. Overall, Ferris wheel fatalities increased 6 percent from the summer of 2010." The report also listed 294 deaths from three separate incidents in which a Ferris wheel detached from its axle and rolled into other Ferris wheels.