Serious accident at Ohio State Fair?

From the images posted it looks to be metal fatigue on that arm portion. This type of failure would actually be near impossible to spot during inspections, until it’s already too late and the crack has already formed and propagated. Compared to say poor fastener condition, which could be inspected and seen relatively easily. Unless the material itself is inspected with non-destructive methods (X-Ray, for example) before each and every assembly/teardown, which is doubtful, that seems to be the most likely cause.

Again, looking at the images, the gauge of the steel doesn’t look all that thick or reinforced in anyway. While the design I am sure is fine and engineered properly for typical use, when you have mobile rigs like this that may subject the parts to additional stresses during moves, that may or may not be considered by design, it could fatigue and stress material beyond what is expected. The material starts to yield and by this point, critical failure is imminent and likely not to be seen.

I don’t see any other possibility given what we know (so far)... So that is my vote thus far. Terrible accident though, really feel terrible for the families involved.

My heart goes out to the families of those injured and/or killed. I saw extended footage of the accident on YouTube (was looking for updated info on passengers), and it was terrible. The person killed was on the video, as well as someone who likely will need multiple leg surgeries if he even gets to keep his leg. I can't unsee it now, though it also stays in my mind how very quickly emergency responders were on the scene. They did an excellent job, as did bystanders who rushed to help. Trying to keep that the main picture in my head. Horrific.

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

Looking back, and trying to think, I'd say that Fireball is at least 20 years old. Is that a long time? Heck, there's rides at Cedar Point plenty older than that.
X-ray inspections are the way to go with this, but at what expense and how often? This is a horrible situation.

Anyone that posts that video does not have good morals. What ever happened to respecting the deceased and not showing people going to their death? The media has been doing it at least since 911 for their ratings and social media allows these people with no respect to show these videos.

It is desensitizing people to the value of life. Just look at some of the horrible Facebook live videos that have recently been broadcast showing people dying.

Just reading about this accident is horrible enough. Unless one is an investigator, there is no reason one has to see this video.

Raven-Phile's avatar

KMG has issued a statement, and closed all Fireball models with serial #1-40 effective immediately:

Gosh, watching people die must be something new! Let's see, Christians thrown to hungry lions in front of thousands? Public hangings and executions where the entire town shows up to watch?
It's a damn shame that present day social media (since when? September 11, 2001?) has desensitized us all to violence and suffering. No regard for human life whatsoever anymore. Shame on everyone, huh?

Bakeman31092's avatar

super7, did you watch the video?

Jeff's avatar

By the way, while the situation is unfortunate to say the least, this shows why calls for regulation are not only not appropriate, but demonstrate the opposite. It's not unusual for a ride manufacturer to respond quickly, in this case under a day, and everyone in the industry knows there was an accident. In this case, it appears to be government that limits the experts access to assess the problem and further respond to it. The criticism around a lack of formal federal level reporting is unfounded... the distribution of timely information is not inhibited.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

A horrible event for sure...

Now try explaining to the masses that a Fireball and Freak Out are two completely different rides. Everyone in WI is going absolute berserk as there are many carnivals around here that have a Freak Out in their traveling shows. And since the WI State Fair starts next week, I'm fairly certain the Freak Out will make an appearance as it has since the fair started their independent contracting of midway rides and attractions.

Last edited by F2006,

Hold on-what's the difference between a fireball and a freak out? I don't know.

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

Try explaining to the balance of the Ohio State Fair visitors that the rest of the rides there are safe. That is, once (and if) they re-open. Someone's going to take a bath on this. Not only the carnival operator, but there are plenty of food and game vendors along those stretches as well. If no one is there to walk by...

There are many companies that have copied the Afterburner concept, from large to small. Freak Out actually swings front to back over the midway giving riders and spectators an extra thrill. There are claw rides in Europe and one in Canada that are very tall. At the Florida State Fair I noticed this type of ride in just about every brand, color, and size. There might've been 4 or 5 of them. It's hard to imagine after such a publicized accident that there won't be an association.

Tekwardo's avatar

I just realized this particular riide was just in Charlotte. I almost rode but didn't feel up to it after eating and just went to grab a spinny mouse credit anyways. Got pics of it and all.

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

As rare as these insidents are, they moving carnivals/fairs have a higher probability of failure.
When I saw the video I was offended.
However after thinking about it, I'm definitely never going to ride any type of ride like that again. I'm sure other people had the same reaction.

I work at u.s.s. and every year they show some very grusome and horrible accidents.
But I'll tell you what, I'm definitely thinking about everything I do 10 times over before I make my move.

Condolences to all who were injured.

Ahh, I'm going to have to go ahead and ask you to come in on Sunday, too...

Go Intamin said:

Hold on-what's the difference between a fireball and a freak out? I don't know.

Fireball has six radial arms, with a 4-passenger pod on each arm for a total of 24 riders

Freak Out is a smaller version with 4 arms x 4 seats = 16 riders


The last time I rode on rides at a fair/carnival I was still in elementary school. I just don't trust rides that are constantly disassembled and reassembled in less then a day and constantly trucked across the country. There is no way to keep those rides in peak condition.

Throw in that if this happened at a park the parks name gets run through the mud, where as if it happens at a fair the fair (not the ride merchant) gets dragged through the mud that I feel parks put a little extra effort into safety.

In short, I go to parks for rides, fairs for food.

2022 Trips: WDW, Sea World San Diego & Orlando, CP, KI, BGW, Bay Beach, Canobie Lake, Universal Orlando

RCMAC said:

Gosh, watching people die must be something new! Let's see, Christians thrown to hungry lions in front of thousands? Public hangings and executions where the entire town shows up to watch?
It's a damn shame that present day social media (since when? September 11, 2001?) has desensitized us all to violence and suffering. No regard for human life whatsoever anymore. Shame on everyone, huh?

Right...While I would not support showing the video over and over on TV because then it's hard to choose to not view it and that would not be right especially for family or witnesses that have been traumatized enough already but having it available to view if one chooses to is reasonable. This happened right out in public in front of many people, it's not as if we are exposing something private. I watched it. Later my husband searched it out and we watched it again. He's a paramedic and since we are amusement park fans obviously he was interested in the manner of the failure and the injuries. Disaster is dinner time conversation around here. The footage is disturbing but to put it in perspective images comparable to the severity of this are what runs through my husband's head at night when he lays down to sleep. It's what I hear when I ask how his day was. It takes something more than watching video of disaster strike to take away someone's regard for human life. If watching things like this happen was all it took my husband and his coworkers should have lost all respect for human life by now and yet they go to work everyday saving people...

We can question the motive of the person who initially posted the video but rather than assume they were looking for attention I'm going to consider the possibility that they were likely shocked themselves by what they captured on video and either posted it out of habit or because they were upset and weren't sure how to put that into words so they just showed all their friends what upset them. They probably weren't thinking it through at the time whether or not they should.

Last edited by Paisley,
Gemini's avatar

I read this at NBC 4 Columbus in a story on two of the injured riders:

Hussein and Salle said they didn’t start fearing for their lives until they noticed they were getting closer and closer to the ground with each swing of the ride.

I don't know if this sheds any light on the accident, but I thought it was interesting since it appears the ride may have hit the platform.

Last edited by Gemini,

Walt Schmidt - Co-Publisher, PointBuzz

Seems the ride was in Charlotte the week before and had problems already.

kpjb's avatar

What horrible, sensationalistic reporting.

The "problems" found by NC inspectors were things like a broken junction box and securing a cover... they act like the thing had a huge visible crack in it.

Also "one of the most startling things" was that ride was in North Carolina a few weeks ago? Really? Fairs travel and that startles you?

Extra points taken away for the dumbass "thump" noise whenever graphics are put up.


Vater's avatar

God, I hate "news." What sensationalist garbage. The "alarming information about the exact ride that killed the 18 year old in Ohio" is that it was in Charlotte on Memorial Day weekend? No way. You mean it wasn't sitting on a truck unused for the past 12 years? It actually operated within the last month?!?!

And here are the problems reported during the inspection (before it passed):

-Repair damaged junction box
-Secure all sweep components and hardware
-Eliminate trip hazards from the decking
-Properly secure wiring entering the dead man's switch
-Properly install/secure controller cover.

The only thing missing was playing this clip when they mentioned "deadman's switch":

Edit: apparently kpjb and I were of the same mind when we watched the video...

Last edited by Vater,

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