RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The accident at the Ohio State Fair has prompted the North Carolina Department of Labor to put a temporary ban on that ride involved, the “KMG Fire Ball,” in North Carolina.
Officials with the NCDOL said until it can be ensured that the ride is safe, the department will not allow it to operate in North Carolina.
A labor department spokesperson said the exact ride that was involved in the Ohio incident was in North Carolina not too long ago. He said people were on it in the Charlotte area about two months ago.
There also was the incident that happened at the North Carolina State Fair nearly four years ago where five people were seriously hurt on the Vortex ride. The owner and operator of that ride both pleaded guilty to different charges in connection with that case after it was revealed a safety mechanism was disabled.
CBS North Carolina asked the NCDOL, who inspects rides, what message they want the public to know before they come to the N.C. State Fair in October.
“In North Carolina, you can be confident that if the ride has passed inspection, the riding public is safe,” said Dolores Quesenberry, communications director with the NCDOL. “You can get on the ride, put your family on the rides, put your children on the rides. We stand behind the rides. We have a very stringent inspection process.”
Both the state labor department and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture said the Ohio incident is tragic and they want the public to know if a ride is not safe, then it will not operate in North Carolina.
“If a ride is not ready to go, it’s not going to go,” said Brian Long, communications director with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture.
The state Labor Department does the safety inspections on about 7,000 rides across the state each year.
Amusements of America, the company that provides the Fire Ball ride, is scheduled to be at two fairs this fall in eastern North Carolina.
The Labor Department says the only ride impacted by the moratorium is the Fire Ball.
Labor Department spokesperson also says Amusements of America has not operated at the North Carolina State Fair since 2002.