Jul 27, 2017

One Dead, Seven Injured After Ride Malfunctions at Ohio State Fair

A malfunctioning ride at Ohio State Fair injured seven people and left one man dead. The incident happened on Wednesday, July 26, when the "aggressive thrill" broke apart. Some videos which are circulating online show the Fire Ball ride swinging back and forth like a pendulum and spinning in the air before it crashes into something and part of the ride flies off, throwing the riders to the ground.

Officials said the man, an 18-year-old, who was killed was one of several people who were thrown to the ground when the ride malfunctioned. Five of the injured were in critical condition and the other two were in stable condition Wednesday night at area hospitals.

Officials did not know what caused the ride to break apart, noting that investigation was still ongoing. Director of Agriculture David Daniels said all rides were checked several times when they're set up to make sure they're set up the way the manufacturer intended. Daniels added that ride inspectors did not notice anything out of the ordinary when they conducted their inspections and cleared the Fire Ball for passengers.

"We started out today with 11 rides that did not open because the inspection work was not done on them," Daniels said. He said that there are four rides that won't be operating because they didn't meet the mechanical test.

The state fair will still be open on Thursday, but the rides won't be running until they all are determined to be safe. The fair is scheduled to run through August 6.

"Our hearts are heavy for the families of those involved in last night's tragic accident," the fair said early Thursday morning in a statement posted on its Twitter page. "We have shut down all rides until the state has inspected each and every ride again and deemed them to be safe."

Governor John Kasich sent his condolences through Twitter as writing, "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."