Several rides in county fairs were closed after a deadly accident occurred in this year’s Ohio State Fair. In that accident, one person was killed and seven others were severely injured. The ride broke in the middle of operation on Wednesday and people were sent flying into the air. However, according to the records, the Fire Ball ride had been inspected for safety and had been passed as safe.
All operations of Fire Ball rides were suspended by the Illinois Department of Labor until further notice. Each year, more than 4,000 ride inspections are done by IDOL's Amusement Ride and Attraction Safety Division, 3 Fire Ball Rides, 8 Freak Out Rides and 1 ‘Extreme’ ride will cease to operate until inspectors from Illinois have said that they are safe.
According to the DuPage County Fair Spokesperson, Jim McGuire, safety is given high priority before any other thing. He said that he is going to pursue all measures to ensure that the environment was safe again and expressed apologies to anyone who had been affected by the accident.
A ride such as ‘Freak Out’ is checked up to five times per day by different parties before any fairgoers go up to use it. In addition, there are those parties who inspect the rides from an insurance point of view to ensure the rides are safe. Examples of the parties that participate are the City of Wheaton and the Fire Department. In addition, the carnival staff and the DuPage Country staff inspect them.
Investigators said that they weren’t allowing any rides to take place until they knew what caused the malfunctioning to occur. Many people who were at the DuPage County Fair supported this and said they were okay with the move. The accident left many people who attended the fair shell shocked and it was reported highly in social media.
The Du Page Fair has was officially opened on July 26 and it will go up to July 30. The Illinois State Fair will be running from August 10 to August 20 and organizers have promised that safety will be the number one priority. They have contacted North American Midway Entertainment (NAME) to review the procedures and discuss safety. Since 2005, NAME has acted as the Illinois State Fair's carnival vendor.
There was a video which was captured by a bystander which has made its rounds online. In the video, the Fire Ball ride is seen swinging above its bottom before a loud crashing sound was heard. One sections that held four riders broke apart while it was swinging upwards and there were two people who tumbled into the air. There were screams as the people crashed onto the ground.
The casualty, 18 year old Tyler Jarrell died while midway and was among the people who were thrown to the ground. The seven who were injured ranged from the age of 14 to 42. The records also show that the state had given permits for the ride.
As of now, the investigations are going on.