Serious accident at Ohio State Fair?

I work at the fair. I'm home right now and my husband called from the fair to say a ride flew apart in motion resulting in death and injury. He thinks it's the KMG Fireball/Afterburner which is in its usual spot on the midway near our building. I watched that ride as I was pulling out of the parking lot to come home, about 2 hours ago.

I'll return with whatever details I can find.

Edit: just this so far

Last edited by RCMAC,

Stacia on channel 6 just broke in with a report. Their crews are on the way. Multiple injuries, one very critical is what they're reporting.
Jim says the gate in that corner is closed for responders.

It is. That ride is many years old, was new when they first came out and it's played the fair every year since. About 3-4 seasons ago it underwent a rehab with what looked to me like new sweeps, chairs, LED lights, and bright paint.

OhioStater's avatar

Ugh. The latest is one confirmed dead with 6 more with injuries.

What a nightmare.

Via WBNS in Columbus

Last edited by OhioStater,

Eyewitnesses from our building who happened to be outside say that the chairs at the end of one of the sweeps broke loose and literally flew through the air. The ride is located on the end/back end of the midway and the chairs landed in the carny trailer park that is located behind there. A saving grace is that it didn't land on the busy midway, but what a horrible thing anyway.
Today is opening day for the fair. I noticed the Fireball arrived in the first batch of rides and was set up last week. Ohio has a great team of inspectors that mean business. (As they should). I can't imagine what impact this may have. I love our fair and I'm heartsick.
Jim said other rides continued to operate but now they are not.

rollergator's avatar

Wow. Prayers for all involved.

You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

Tekwardo's avatar

Just saw this. So terrible.

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Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

Very unfortunate accident, thoughts and prayers to all affected.

Now, a bit of analysis: The left side panel of the platform was up or coming up for some reason as it came through the platform area, which took one seating assembly clean off and for whatever reason only seemed to have affected the restraints/seats of two on another assembly. For one of four floor panels to come up is an interesting malfunction, and has me hoping the investigation results are public with an explanation on why that happened.

Original BlueStreak64

If that's what happened, that's interesting. I expected that the entire assembly's connection points were just loose and were going to fall off after so much stress is put on the ride.

I think this is a horrible accident still, I just like to know how things can go wrong and why. And I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like to be there, or be a relative to the person that died.

Hey, let's ride (random Intamin coaster). What? It's broken down? I totally didn't expect that.

In one of the videos on Twitter of the accident you can hear the bang very clearly as it hits the platform panel and see it moving just before and after the hit. My first reaction was "somehow the seats weren't properly attached," which I suppose could still be an issue.

Original BlueStreak64

I just saw a video of it. It definitely looks like the row got caught in something, because it rapidly stops, and then hits the side of another row, causing 2 more to be ejected.

Hey, let's ride (random Intamin coaster). What? It's broken down? I totally didn't expect that.

OhioStater's avatar

Having no idea how these rides operate from an operator's standpoint, is it possible a button was pushed or switch pulled that could cause the platform to rise while the ride is in motion? If that is, indeed, what caused the accident to happen.

Huffpost has video of the accident.

it's as gruesome as you would fear

Unless there's maintenance controls for each individual platform panel on the main control board, I would say no. I would lean towards some kind of control system failure and/or an issue with the mechanism for the platform panel. If it uses air like the HUSS platforms, I would think it lost pressure and its default position is up. If it is just a straight mechanical system (i.e. no pneumatics/hydraulics, just gears and such), I'm not sure where the failure would be.

EDIT: Replying to OhioStater if that's not clear.

Last edited by maXairMike,

Original BlueStreak64

I've watched that horrifying video enough to see that something clearly hits the platform. I assumed the car cut loose , hit it, and flipped up. Maybe not, and I don't feel like watching it again.
I've ridden that very ride many, many times, but not recently. I can't imagine the platform is air, on rides like that it's usually something mechanical like a rolling frame that causes the platform to raise and lower when it moves. Maybe a small hydraulic. KMG probably has specs on their site.
I suppose the platform could've raised on its own, but I don't know how. I hope it's not shenanigans like what happened at N.C. when a ride owner was found to have bypassed a safety system. Could an op have hit the button while the ride was in motion? You'd think that there would be some sort of redundancy that would prevent that.

I'm sorry to ramble on about this, but I'm truly beside myself. Like I said, I love our fair and I love and respect the industry. I've spent more than a minute on FB tonight defending the traveling amusement business and their practices.
Our governor and the state's chief ride inspector were in on a press conference tonight and both were visually shaken. They announced the entire midway will be closed until further notice, and each ride will be inspected with a fine toothed comb before they can reopen. But it's clear all the naked-eye inspections on earth may not have prevented this tragedy.

I seemed to recall RideMan posting on his site about a design flaw on a KMG ride with similar style seats. Sounded like they'd all been re-welded since the rides were originally manufactured.

Sure enough..

Last edited by Scottt,

I don't think the platforms were up, I think that whatever was loose was barely hanging on at that point. The point with the most stress would be when the arm reached a 90 degree position giving the most positive gs and likely caused the failure then it probably hit the ground while partially still attached to whatever it broke off of. The hit caused everything to shatter.

2004: PKI The Beast Crew If ya see Ricky say hey! My life is spent in between metal railing, where I stand for hours just to sit down for 3 minutes then to get up and do it allover again.

I saw this video on YouTube and now I wish I hadn't watched it. I also follow a couple of amusement park enthusiast sites on Facebook and my feed was flooded with multiple people posting the video of the accident. I had to get off of Facebook just because of that. I pray for comfort for the family of the one who died and for the other families that have loved ones in critical condition.

On a final note, I was watching the Today Show this morning and I expected for them to be reporting on the accident. However, I thought it was pretty insensitive to show the video. They paused it right at the point where the car breaks off and people go flying. Well, there isn't much more video after that. Not sure why it needed to be shown by them at all. Should have used stock footage of an operating one just so people would know what kind of ride it is. Not cool.

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