Ohio State Fair Ride Malfunction Influences Amusement Parks

ohio state fair

Ohio State fair

The Ohio State Fair closed down on July 26, 2017, after Fire Ball ride malfunctioned, killing one person and injuring seven others. Three of the injured are in critical condition.

Other amusement parks have chosen to voluntarily shut down any rides that resemble The Fire Ball for public safety purposes.

Not long after this incident was reported, the California State fair closed down their own ride that was similar to The Fire Ball. FOX 40 Sacramento received a statement from them, “Our ride is not running this evening… not running and not going to run until we find out what happened in Ohio and the factory tells us it’s okay to operate.”

Soon after, Hersheypark closed down a ride called The Claw, as a safety precaution. The ride was a fixed park model and was not made by the same manufacturer as The Fireball, but according to a report still held one too many similarities to Ohio State Fair’s previously popular ride.

Other rides, such as IT and Maelstrom were closed at Morey’s Piers due to similarities to The Fire Ball. The ride swung 40 feet into the air, while spinning the passengers. Although IT was made by the same manufacturers of the malfunctioned ride at the Ohio State Fair, Maelstrom was manufactured by another company.

Morey’s Piers closed the rides the afternoon of Wednesday, July 26, on Thursday state officials told the park to keep them closed until further notice. On that same day, The Fire Ball manufacturer, a company labeled KMG, called various operators of the malfunctioned ride to shut down any versions of it until further investigations could be done. Although, most parks proceeded with the ride closings before the announcement from KMG.

The Indiana State fair also announced that fair officials, along with North American Midway, closed The Fire Ball, which was on the midway with more than 50 other rides. The Indiana State fair announced, “Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone impacted by the tragic accident at the Ohio State Fair.”

The Columbus Dispatch stated, “Ken Martin, a safety analyst and consultant in Richmond, Virginia, said that fairs across the country are closing many types of rides in what he called a knee-jerk, kind of a ‘Chicken Little approach’ to the Ohio State Fair tragedy. He doesn’t think it’s necessary.”

The Fire Ball malfunction caused the death of an 18-year-old male by blunt force trauma after the ride broke in midair. It also caused the serious injuries of the passengers whose ages ranged from 13 to 42.

The man killed was identified as Tyler Jarrell, supposedly the first senior from Franklin Heights High School to join the United States Marines Corp. this year.

Written by Brielle R. Buford
Edited by Jeanette Smith


The Columbus Dispatch: Fire Ball rides shut down after Ohio State Fair tragedy
PHILLY VOICE: Morey’s Piers, Hersheypark closes rides after fatal Ohio State Fair accident
FOX NEWS: Ohio State Fair accident spurs other fairs to close ‘Fire Ball’ rides
Cleveland.com: Ohio State Fair rides operating after death, state releases rides contract
witf: Hersheypark closes ride in response to Ohio State Fair death
International Business Times: Ohio State Fair Ride Video: Deadly Accident Caused By ‘Structural Issue’
abcNEWS: Blunt force trauma killed teenager on Ohio State Fair ride, coroner says
The Mourning Journal: Ohio State Fair ride accident: Ohio, California close ‘Fire Ball’ ride
The Post and Courier: Ohio, California close ‘Fire Ball’ thrill ride, operated by company with SC ties, after fatal accident at state fair
msn: Ohio, California close ‘Fire Ball’ ride after fatal accident

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of ZaCky’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License


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