One Dies and Seven Are Injured in Ohio State Fair Accident

A horrific Ohio State Fair accident that killed one person and injured seven raises new questions about the safety of theme and amusement park rides.

A ride called The Fireball malfunctioned at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus with tragic results. An 18-year-old man was killed on impact with the ground when part of the ride ‘snapped off.’  Three of the injured were reported to be in a critical condition at Wexner Medical Center, reported the Daily Mail.

The ride has at least six rows of seats that spin around in the air as the structure moves like a pendulum. It broke apart while it was in motion on Wednesday sending riders flying through the air.

A report on CNN noted the ride was inspected multiple times before the accident and it passed on all occasions.

Michael Vartorella, chief ride inspector for Ohio's Division of Amusement Ride Safety, said the ride was inspected at a couple of different stages and signed off on Wednesday.

Safety experts are asking what caused the 40-foot structure to break apart on the opening night at the Ohio State Fair.

The Daily Mail reported the operator was told by bystanders to slow the ride down shortly before it came apart.

Julian Bellinger, a boy who was filming the ride told Good Morning America, he heard commotion on the ride and people saying it was too fast. He said:

“So people on the ground beside me and in front of me in line... they all were like, "whoa, whoa, slow down.”

He said the operator 'pressed the emergency brake. The teen said he started to see people fall out of their harnesses and seats on the ride.

Doctors at Wexner reported three of the riders who were admitted underwent surgery overnight and face additional surgeries in the coming days.  Three others were admitted to another hospital in a fair condition and two were released from the hospital early Thursday.

We are alarmed to read about the circumstances of this Ohio State Fair accident. Our thoughts are with the families of the deceased and the injured. This incident raises some disturbing questions. The ride seemed to be reaching unacceptable speeds before it came apart but it’s not clear why.

Just this week we noted how a lawsuit has been filed over an accident at the Greene County Fair in Tennessee in which three children fell out of a Ferris wheel last year.

There have also been injuries and fatalities at water parks. If you have been hurt on a ride or lost a loved one, please call our experienced Virginia personal injury lawyers at (757) 455-0077.

Bill O’Mara


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