1 dead, 7 injured after ride malfunctions at Ohio State Fair, authorities say

"Fireball" ride at Ohio State Fair. WBNS-TV

OHIO (CBS) – One person has died and another seven were injured when a ride malfunctioned at the Ohio State Fair, according to CBS affiliate WBNS-TV, citing the Columbus Division of Fire.

Two of the injured are in critical condition, and one is listed in serious condition.

Officials with the Ohio Department of Agriculture identified the ride as the “Fireball.”

The Ohio State Fair confirmed the incident with a post on Twitter:

Some of the victims were thrown from the ride, Columbus Battalion Chief Steve Martin said.

Wednesday evening Ohio Gov. John Kasich released a statement on Twitter saying that he is “terribly saddened by this accdent, by this loss of life and that people were injured.”

“I have ordered a full investigation into this incident and have ordered that all fair rides be shut down until additional safety inspections can be completed,” Kasich added.

The Ohio State Fair kicked off Wednesday and was supposed to run through August 6, according to its website.

Ride inspections occurred on Monday, July 24, according to a report from WBNS-TV.

There was no immediate information about the ages or identities of the deceased or injured.

WBNS-TV will carry a live press update. You can watch it below when it begins:

View image on Twitter

The Erie County Fair released a statement following the accident:

“The Erie County Fair extends our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those affected in the accident at the Ohio State Fair. Fair management is reviewing all available information on this incident as well as our emergency management plan while preparations continue for opening day of our 178th Fair.     

The Erie County Agricultural Society’s amusement ride safety program is designed to ensure that all rides in operation during the Erie County Fair meet or exceed stringent New York State and ride manufacturer safety and maintenance requirements.

Rides and attractions are subject to a three level inspection process that involves our midway provider, New York State and an independent amusement ride safety service contracted by the Erie County Fair. Inspection of rides takes place prior to the opening of the midway during ride setup. Daily inspections continue during the entire 12-day run of the Fair.

The Strates Shows, the midway provider to the Erie County Fair for 93 years, begins its safety program well in advance of its show in Hamburg. The lengthy process begins during the off season when rides go through a comprehensive maintenance overhaul. Engineering and structural tests are conducted and worn or broken components are replaced. During the Fair, the Strates Shows internal safety department works alongside State and independent inspectors.

The New York State Department of Labor inspects all amusement rides before and on the scheduled start date of the Fair. Only those deemed safe are allowed to operate. 

Additionally, LJM & Associates from Safety Harbor, Florida, acts as an independent third party in the Fair’s ride inspection process. Erie County Fair officials are briefed on a daily basis about the status of ongoing inspections and are alerted to rides that are taken out of service.”

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