Past Ohio inspection of Fire Ball ride released
Amusements of America verified the authenticity of a picture taken of the damaged Fire Ball ride at the Ohio State Fairgrounds after a gondola broke off the machine and killed a rider.
The picture taken after the Wednesday night crash shows heavy metal torn on the machine. Now, inspectors from a variety of agencies are heading to Columbus as part of their own separate investigations. The manufacturer KMG based in the Netherlands is sending an inspector. Agents with the national Consumer Product Safety Commission will also be doing their own in-depth report. Highway Patrol had third party inspectors at the crash site last week as part of its death investigation into the incident that killed Fire Ball rider Tyler Jarrell, 18.
The day of the crash, inspectors with the state's Department of Agriculture gave the Fire Ball a passing grade when it came to safety. The department also just released its past inspections at the fair dating back to 2014. The reports list specific checks and replacements to the ride's seat backs, restraint cylinder and belt.
In 2007, KMG issued a safety alert when it came to the ride's "swing arm" that cited cracking in the metal. Ride owner Amusements of America told ABC 6/FOX 28 Monday that the Fire Ball was inspected and repaired from that alert then and has no bearing on the fatal crash now.
Reports indicate inspectors in South Carolina conducted the rides annual inspection last fall and completed an ultrasound on the machine. Those inspectors did not return calls Monday from ABC 6/FOX 28 but their attorney said they were preparing a statement.
The state highway patrol said it hopes to release an update on its investigation early this week.