1 Dead, Multiple Hurt After Ride Malfunctions at Ohio State Fair
Columbus fire officials have confirmed that one person is dead and 6 have been injured – 5 critically – after a ride malfunctioned today at the Ohio State Fair. Officials said two people are in stable condition. One of those injured is a 13-year-old child. The others are adults. Multiple news outlets have said the deceased is an 18-year-old male.
The malfunction happened as people rode the Fireball ride Wednesday evening. The ride had four riders per row in separate seats. One of the rows of seats “snapped off”, as seen in this horrifying video captured by a fair guest.
Amusements of America is the company providing rides at the State Fair this year. The company describes the Fire Ball ride as an “aggressive thrill ride that combines swinging and spinning action all in one – swinging riders 40′ above the midway while spinning them at 13 revolutions per minute”.
Patients were transported to Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, hospital . David Evans, the center’s medical director, says it was helpful to see video of the incident that was posted to social media.
“Having that video really showed us that this was a great force and a great mechanism, really consistent with a high-speed motor vehicle crash with an ejection, really something more along those lines,” he said.
The hospital staff used knowledge gained from the video to prepare to run CAT scans and look for certain types of injuries.
Ohio Governor John Kasich released a statement Wednesday evening stating:
“I am terribly saddened by this accident, by the loss of life and that people were injured enjoying Ohio’s fair. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those grieving and injured. I have ordered a full investigation into this incident and have ordered that all fair rides be shut down until additional safety inspections can be completed.”
The Ohio State Fair said hasn’t said anything yet other than this tweet:
What caused the malfunction is not yet clear. Every state has different laws regarding amusement ride inspections. In Ohio, traveling fair and carnival rides are inspected by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Each year these rides are inspected during the week leading up to the Ohio State Fair. The rides at the fair are also subject to spot inspections through-out the time the fair is open. Wednesday, was opening day for the Fair, which runs until August 6.
After watching the video, this particular accident could turn out to be a case of ride manufacture assembly or even a weld error. This is just speculation after watching the video and we hope it is not the case.
Unfortunately after seeing this photo floating around, it’s looking more towards stress cracks or metal fatigue. Not sure inspectors could have found this without X-Ray fluorescence (XRF) analyzer testing. Hopefully this accident can turn manufactures on to some kind of new inspection technology. 👏 prayers for the families involved in this horrible accident 🙁
KMG, the ride manufacturer, has since ceased operation of all of their rides of this style until an inverstigation is complete.
It’s unfortunate accidents like this that give thrill rides a bad name when it comes to safety. Remember, Theme Parks with permanent rides are much different with inspections than traveling carnivals and fairs. We continue to encourage everyone to still visit and support your local amusement parks. The chance of a fatal injury at a theme park is one in 1.5 billion [Source: CPSC]. By comparison, the chance of fatal injury in a car crash is almost 15 in 10,000 [Source: U.S. Department of Transportation]. You’re about twice as likely to suffer a shark attack as you are to sustain an injury at a theme park requiring a hospital stay. With that said, we still say theme park rides are incredibly safe.
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