Ride breaks at Ohio State Fair, killing one
A day at the fair has turned deadly for at least one person in Ohio, and its ramifications can be felt here in Sacramento.
The Fireball ride at the Ohio State Fair malfunctioned Wednesday, leaving a man dead and at least seven people injured, according to multiple reports.
The accident prompted California State Fair officials to shut down the Fire Ball ride at Cal Expo in Sacramento, according to a news report. Barry Schaible, an inspector with a company hired by the fair, told KCRA-TV in Sacramento, "We shut down the ride immediately, unloaded it and it's closed right now."
On its website, Amusements of America said that since its debut in 2002, the Fire Ball, which was manufactured by KMG, had become "one of the most popular thrill rides on the AOA Midway." The company's description of the ride said it swings riders 40 feet (12 meters) above the midway, while spinning them at 13 revolutions per minute.
Amusements of America did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.
Steve Martin, a fire battalion chief in Columbus, Ohio, told WCMH that one of the rows of seats “snapped off.” The TV station says an 18-year-old man was killed.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich released a statement and shut down all the rides at the fair, which opened Wednesday.
“The fair is about the best things in life, and tonight with this accident it becomes a terrible, terrible tragedy,” Kasich told The Associated Press.
Rides will remain closed until safety checks are conducted. The fair will still be open tomorrow, according to Chris Tye of WKYC. The event runs through Aug. 6.
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, also tweeted about the tragic incident, offering prayers and sympathy to the victims.
On the ride, which sits 24 people in six groups of four, one of the sections of seats came loose. A person posted a video on social media of people being thrown from the ride.
The Fireball, which is also featured at this year’s California State Fair, is billed on Amusements of America’s wesite as an “aggressive thrill ride” which swings riders 40 feet into the air while spinning 13 revolutions per minute. The ride in Sacramento is shown in a Instagram post.
It’s also a popular attraction at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.