Thrill Rides And Accidents

Last month, a tragedy occurred at the Ohio State Fair. A ride malfunctioned, broke apart and lead to a teenager dying and multiple people being injured. A young man aged 18, of Columbus met an untimely end after being thrown into the air when the ride he was on malfunctioned. The ride was called the “Fire Ball”. Seven others were also injured. The young man’s girlfriend remains hospitalized and another injured victim is still in a coma.

The manufacturer of the ride said this was the first serious malfunction on one of its rides. As if by saying that they are trying to soften the blow so to speak and lessen the impact of the death and injuries.

Now, as with carnivals, festivals and county fairs the rides are not permanently secured and can be transported from place to place. With each locational move the equipment needs to be inspected for cracks, damage and structural integrity. Moving equipment from place to place contributes more stress and strain on the rides than the actual use of it. So, inspection of the ride needs to done more frequently.

Days after this event occurred, word spread amongst the amusement community and many amusement parks shut down their rides that were either built by the same manufacturer or had a similar design to them. The parks then instructed their staff to conduct thorough inspections, cleanings and maintenance of the rides.

Yes, they took a reactive stance to prevent further injuries.

But now a month later, after a detailed investigation, it’s been revealed that excessive corrosion played a part in the catastrophic failure of the ride. The corrosion dangerously reduced the metal support beam’s wall thickness, resulting in the ride breaking apart. This ride manufactured by KMG was almost 20 years old. Still young compared to the many amusements rides in service today at major parks, yet, very much in need of replacement if compared to other transient rides.

It’s also been reported that the Fire Ball ride was inspected the day of the accident yet, it seems the structural integrity of the metal where the corrosion was found was not on the list of prerequisite checks. What was included in the inspection report was about three dozen items including possible cracks, brakes, proper assembly and installation. Apparently, corrosion is not something that is checked often.

But, I’m sure inspecting for corrosion will make the list now.

Oh, and yes, the family of the young man who died has reached out to their attorney to start the process of a wrongful death lawsuit.

Now, most state & county fairs, festivals and carnivals that provide rides don’t usually post inspection safety reports, but they do have to make them available upon request and most are filed with their proper States. So, if you’re unsure about a ride, ask to see the last inspection report. If you’re still leery or have concerns, don’t ride it.

If you’ve been injured as a result of a malfunctioning ride, and it happened in Indiana call the experienced accident attorneys at the Law Offices of David W Holub by calling (219) 736-9700.

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