The Dutch manufacturer of an amusement ride that broke apart at the Ohio State Fair, killing one person and injuring seven others, has ordered that the attractions be shut down worldwide until further notice. The company, KMG, confirmed a passenger-carrying gondola detached from the supporting arm of the ride, called Fire Ball, on Wednesday evening at a fair in Columbus, the capital of the midwestern US state.
The ride is a pendulum swing with rows of seats attached by spokes. The company urged all operators of that particular model — also known as Afterburner or FRB24 — to cease operations immediately. “We are currently gathering information on the accident and investigating the cause and circumstances,” the company said in a statement yesterday.
Eighteen-year-old Tyler Jarrell was killed when he was thrown from the ride and landed 50 feet (15 meters) away, Ohio officials said.
Jarrell was a high school senior who had recently enlisted in the US Marine Corps, according to The Columbus Dispatch newspaper.
Seven others — ages 14 to 42 — were injured. Some were struck by debris while others were on the section that broke off, officials said. “I think about that moment when some were thrown from that carriage. That’s a nightmare,” Ohio Governor John Kasich told a news conference at the fairgrounds.
“I don’t want to speculate on what caused this, because we have to do the full and complete investigation,” he said. Two people remained in critical condition and another in serious condition after multiple surgeries, according to the Wexner Medical Center.
The ride had passed an inspection this week, according to state records. Paul Pride, chief of Ohio’s state police force, which is running the investigation, appealed for help to assess the ride and what went wrong. “We’re kind of looking across the country to make sure that we get the right folks in here to give us an independent view of the machine, the process, everything,” Pride said.
All rides at the fair remained closed while inspectors reinspected them. The ride’s operator, New Jersey-based Amusements of America, did not return requests for comment.