NC inspectors look to keep State Fair rides safe after Ohio incident

Kids enjoy the N.C. State Fair on Wednesday. (Jeff Reeves/WNCN)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The manufacturer of an attraction that broke apart mid-ride at the Ohio State Fair says excessive corrosive on a support beam caused the accident.

The ride, the Fireball, had been on the circuit for 18 years when the accident happened that killed an 18-year-old.

“It’s frightening and I just wonder if things are being checked as carefully as they should be,” said Sandra Hansen of Raleigh.

So, CBS North Carolina went to the North Carolina Labor Department, the agency tasked with inspecting amusement rides across the state to find out more about the inspection process here.

“Commissioner Berry, as we’ve said before, if a ride has passed inspection by our inspectors in our department, she would feel comfortable putting her grandchildren on that ride,” said Jason Tyson, a spokesman for the Labor Department.


Tyson said checking for corrosion is an important part of the inspection process in North Carolina.

“They’re looking to make sure that the ride operates safely,” he said. “They’re looking at everything. So, a ride won’t go if there is any inkling of any type of cracking or corrosion.”

But Tyson said the Labor Department is keeping a close watch on the investigation in Ohio and will see what North Carolina can learn from it.

“Obviously, we’re going to look at our procedures here in North Carolina,” said Tyson. “We’re going to see if there is anything that we can do to address it.”

The Labor Department says KMG, the manufacturer of the Fireball, is expected to have rides at this year’s N.C. State Fair, though there is a temporary ban on the Fireball.

KMG said it is working with safety experts on the inspection process after what happened.

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