On July 24th, 2017, the Columbus Dispatch ran an article entitled “Rides will be ready despite set-up delays.” The article referenced recent flooding in the area, which made it impossible for the Ohio State Fair to begin deploying the various rides and attractions. The ride inspectors hurried around the grounds in an attempt to keep everything on track for the scheduled opening day.
On July 26th, 2017, a ride malfunction left one dead and at least seven injured after the Fireball ride came apart, with one of its cars breaking free from its axis. The ride, which spun multiple rotating cars at high speeds, was a popular “thrill ride” at the fair. As one of the 72 rides erected in only two days, it is difficult to know how much time was spent ensuring the Fireball was safe before customers were allowed on it.
When safety is paramount, as when lives will be put at risk, opening day is less important than doing things right. Only a full investigation has any hope of uncovering whether or not corners were cut to get the Ohio State Fair open on time, but we can only hope that all safety protocols were followed to the fullest.
The Ohio State Fair has reopened, even as the manufacturer of the Fireball ride has asked for these rides to be kept out of commission until their safety can be verified. Hopefully, the proper inspections have taken place to ensure another tragedy doesn’t happen.
If you have been injured, or know of someone who has been injured, in an amusement park, fair, or carnival ride, understanding the rules and regulations of these attractions is important. Please, retain an experienced attorney with a history of working on these difficult cases.