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Credit: Destiny Kalynn
COLUMBUS – Wednesday’s fatal ride malfunction that took place at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus was on a ride called ‘The Fire Ball.’
According to Amusements of America, the company providing rides to the Fair this year, ‘The Fire Ball’ “combines swinging and spinning action all in one ride! Since it’s debut in 2002, the Fire Ball has become one of the most popular thrill rides on the AOA Midway. The Fire Ball swings riders 40′ above the midway while spinning them at 13 revolutions per minute!”
The website ‘DOD3’ adds: “Fireball, made by the Dutch manufacturer KMG, is probably one of the most widely seen major attractions at large fairs today. It was one of the first high G-force pendulum style rides that have been all the rage in recent years.
Fireball is comprised of four large supports that hold up a hub at the top. The supports are attached to two trailers that contain water tanks to act as a ballast for the ride. From the hub hangs a large boom with a claw looking wheel at the bottom. The claw has six arms with gondolas attached to the ends of each arm, each one containing four seats for a total of 24 passengers. Riders are secured with a bulky, over the shoulder harness.”
NBC 4 in Columbus captured video of a 2012 inspection of the ‘The Fire Ball.’
Last Updated Jul 26, 2017 10:57 PM EDT
One man has died and several others were injured when a ride malfunctioned at the Ohio State Fair, according to CBS affiliate WBNS-TV, citing the Columbus Division of Fire.
The station adds that five of the injured are listed in critical condition; the other two are in stable condition.
Officials with the Ohio Department of Agriculture identified the ride as the “Fire Ball” — which a company that provides rides for the fair describes as being an “aggressive thrill” ride, the Associated Press reports.
The Ohio State Fair confirmed the incident with a post on Twitter:
Some of the victims were thrown from the ride, Columbus Battalion Chief Steve Martin said.
Dr. David C. Evans, Trauma Medical Director at The Ohio State University, addressed the media later Wednesday night to say they are evaluating patients at the hospital. He indicated that the injured suffered wounds after being ejected from the ride at a high rate of speed possibly from 30 feet from the air.
Paul Pride, Superintendent of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, confirms that just after 7 p.m. local time an incident occurred that left one person dead.
Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture David Daniels expressed his condolences Wednesday and vowed there will be a “complete review of all the rides” at the fair.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich also addressed the “terrible, terrible tragedy” Wednesday night. “It’s a very, very tough situation when you go somewhere to have a great time … the fair is about the best things in life … and with this accident it becomes a terrible tragedy.”
Kasich said all the rides were shut down and said the ride in question was inspected multiple times before the fair’s opening. “We will get to the bottom of this … there will be complete transparency,” Kasich added. Documents would be released on inspection records for the “Fire Ball.”
“This is a very, very sad night for all of us,” Kasich added.
Earlier, Gov. Kasich released a statement on Twitter saying that he is “terribly saddened by this accident, by this loss of life and that people were injured.”
The Ohio State Fair kicked off Wednesday and was supposed to run through August 6, according to its website.
The Associated Press says dramatic video was captured by an eyewitness that shows the ride swinging back and forth like a pendulum and spinning in the air when it crashes into something and part of the ride flies off, throwing riders to the ground.
Ride inspections occurred on Monday, July 24, according to a report from WBNS-TV.
There was no immediate information about the ages or identities of those involved.