Ohio State Fair resumes rides after deadly accident

Aug. 1 (UPI) — The Ohio State Fair said all its rides have passed re-inspection and are back to operating normally after one called “The Fire Ball” malfunctioned and killed an 18-year-old man last week.

The Ohio State Fair said normal operations resumed Sunday following the inspections, which were ordered when Tyler Jarrell was killed and seven others were injured — three critically — on the Fire Ball last Wednesday. One of the arms of the ride abruptly fell off while the ride was in motion.

Ohio released the contract it has with Amusements of America, which owns and operates the rides, to the public. It shows the New Jersey-based company was required to pay for an independent ride inspector and buy an insurance policy of at least $10 million for claims related to injury and death.

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The Columbus Fire Division said the riders were thrown from the Fire Ball when one of the rows on the ride “snapped off.” The accident was captured on video from a witness’ cellphone.

Amusements of America on its website said the Fire Ball “has become one of the most popular thrill rides on the AOA Midway” since its debut in 2002. The machine is 40 feet high and spins riders at 13 revolutions per minute.

Following the incident in Ohio, Britain’s Health and Safety Executive ordered five high-speed theme park rides to shut down. A spokeswoman for the British agency said that although the rides in Britain have been inspected within the last year, there was no “verified information” on the cause of the fatal Ohio incident.


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