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Ohio Tragedy Prompts Beach Boardwalk, California State Fair To Close Similar Rides


SANTA CRUZ (KCBS) – Following a deadly accident involving a carnival ride at the Ohio State Fair, similar rides at the California State Fair and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk have been closed as a precaution.

One person was killed and seven others were injured when the Fire Ball Ride came apart Wednesday night at the fair in Columbus.

The Fire Ball Ride is considered an "aggressive thrill" ride by its makers, who are based in the Netherlands. It swings like a pendulum while the seating area spins at the same time.

In Santa Cruz, inspectors were visiting Thursday morning to check out the permanent installation version ride at the Beach Boardwalk and to make sure it is safe.

"We are just closing the ride and leaving it as is until we get more information from the state and some direction from them as to how they would like us to handle the situation," said Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk spokesperson Kris Reyes.

The Fire Ball ride is also shut down at the California State Fair in Sacramento.

State Fair Safety Inspector Barry Schaible said they wasted no time shutting down the ride, as soon as they received word about the accident in Ohio.

"We were alerted about 10 minutes afterward, we all got our phones ringing at the same time. And we went down and shut down the ride immediately," Schaible said. "That ride is going to stay closed until the manufacturer contacts us, tells us what happened to the other one and gives us either a repair or tells us its okay to reopen it."

Cal/OSHA oversees inspections of both permanent and portable amusement park rides in the state of California.

"Permanent amusement park rides like those at the Boardwalk, Disneyland and Universal Studios are among the safest in the world in large part because of the state's role in overseeing ride safety," said Reyes.

There is currently no timeline on when these rides will reopen.


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