Corrosion caused deadly accident at Ohio State Fair

A ferris wheel.
(Image credit: iStockphoto)

The malfunction last month of an amusement park ride at the Ohio State Fair was caused by major corrosion, the manufacturer said Sunday.

On July 26, a row of seats broke off from the Fire Ball ride, with video showing it flying through the air and landing hard. One person, 18-year-old Tyler Jarrell of Columbus, was killed, and seven were injured. The ride was 18 years old, KMG product manager Albert Kroon said, and "excessive corrosion on the interior of the gondola support beam dangerously reduced the beam's wall thickness over the years. This finally led to the catastrophic failure of the ride during operation."

The chief ride inspector for Ohio's Division of Amusement Ride Safety said after the accident that the Fire Ball had been inspected multiple times over the course of two days, passing every time. Last year, there were about 30,900 injuries associated with amusement park rides seen in U.S. emergency rooms, Patty Davis, press secretary for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, told CNN.

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