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Sen. Portman tours Ohio State Fair, thanks first responders

The Republican senator said he recently spoke with the Ohio State Highway Patrol about the investigation into the Fire Ball ride. He said he is hoping for a preliminary report to be released soon. (WSYX/WTTE)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) - Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, toured the Ohio State Fair Friday morning and thanked first responders who helped during the chaos following the Fire Ball ride tragedy that left seven people injured and an 18-year-old dead.

The Republican senator said he recently spoke with the Ohio State Highway Patrol about the investigation into the Fire Ball ride. He said he is hoping for a preliminary report to be released soon.

Portman said the Consumer Product Safety Commission out of Washington is lending its expertise to the investigation, with stress tests and more.

"They are experts at looking at accidents like this around the country so they can provide expertise including, you know, looking at the metallurgy as I was told today, meaning the stress on steel," said Portman.

ABC 6 / FOX 28 asked Portman if he thinks there should be federal oversight of ride inspections.

"The Consumer Product Safety Commission has expertise that ought to be used. One of the points that I have made to the State Highway Patrol is to say if there is anything that we can do, be helpful, to get them even more engaged, providing more information, we want to do that," he said.

He greeted the first responders at the first aid station, thanking them for helping during the Fire Ball tragedy.

"Local hospitals have said without our team being able to organize and offer good pre-hospital care that the patient outcomes may have been detrimental," said nurse practitioner Amy Edwards, who helps to dispatch crews from the first aid area at the fairgrounds.

Edwards said six of her team members responded to the Fire Ball ride. She said they were some of the first people on that deadly scene.

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