Corrosion of ride caused deadly Ohio State Fair accident, manufacturer says

Posted August 08, 2017

In a memo posted on Facebook, ride manufacturing company KMG wrote, "excessive corrosion on the interior of the gondola support beam dangerously reduced the beam's wall thickness", and that eventually led to the "catastrophic failure" of the 18-year-old ride.

Tyler Jarrell, an 18-year-old Marine, was killed in the accident. His girlfriend, 18-year-old Keziah Lewis, remains in the hospital and is listed to be in serious condition, reported WKBN.

"Commissioner Berry, as we've said before, if a ride has passed inspection by our inspectors in our department, she would feel comfortable putting her grandchildren on that ride", said Jason Tyson, a spokesman for the Labor Department.

OH state officials said the ride had been inspected multiple times before it malfunctioned.

The accident, on the swinging ride known as the Fire Ball, also injured seven others. Sunday was the fair's last day. A section holding four riders came apart, and screams could be heard as at least two people were ejected and plunged to the ground.

"KMG has reviewed the results of the inspection and worked with industry safety experts to develop an inspection protocol in the form of a Safety Bulletin to allow properly inspected and maintained rides to safely reopen", Kroon said. KMG said any fairs featuring the Fireball should cease operation of the ride immediately pending further investigation.

The Fire Ball, sold by the company under the name Afterburner, is a mechanical ride that swings passengers up to 20 metres into the air while spinning at 15 revolutions per minute, according to the company's website.