One person was killed and at least seven others injured when a ride malfunctioned Wednesday night at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus. It was caught on camera.
Three of the seven injured were in critical condition, investigators said. The deceased is an 18-year-old male, according to fire department officials. The victims range in age from 13 to 41 years old.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich ordered all rides at the state fair to be shut down until thorough inspections are completed. Crews shut down other rides at the fair shortly after the accident.
The accident occurred on the fair’s opening day at 7:19 p.m. local time at the Ohio Expo Center grounds. As seen in a bystander’s video, a part of the mechanical ride came loose as the fast-moving ride swung, sending a carriage of passengers flying into the air.
WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO
According to amusement ride operator Amusements of America, 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 cause of the malfunction was unclear. Recent storms and flooding forced inspectors to work long hours in recent days ensuring the rides were in good working shape, the Columbus Dispatch reported.
“I am terribly saddened by this accident, by the loss of life and that people were injured enjoying Ohio’s fair. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those grieving and injured,” Kasich said in a statement.
“I have ordered a full investigation into this incident and have ordered that all fair rides be shut down until additional safety inspections can be completed.
Gov. Kasich's statement on tonight's incident at the Ohio State Fair. pic.twitter.com/PFjfHWMIab
— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) July 27, 2017
Gov. Kasich also stated he will be at the fair when it is slated to re-open.
Our hearts are heavy… pic.twitter.com/Lzc6fUz6WG
— Ohio State Fair (@OhioStateFair) July 27, 2017
The Ohio Department of Agriculture’s chief inspector of amusement ride safety, Mike Vartorella, said inspectors have been present at the fair since last Wednesday. The inspection for the Fire Ball would include evaluating connections and hydraulics. Vartorella said the Fire Ball had been inspected three to four times over the previous two days.
Wednesday marked the first day of the fair, which is scheduled to run through Aug. 6, according to the fair’s website.
— JU ???????? (@obey_jbell) July 27, 2017