The manufacturer of the ride that left one person dead and seven others injured at the Ohio State Fair last month said the accident was caused by “excessive corrosion.”
The Fireball ride, which swings and spins its passengers back and forth, was built in 1998 by Dutch manufacturer KMG, The Associated Press reported. At the Ohio State Fair in July, the ride disintegrated in midair, sending passengers flying.
Graphic video of the accident showed one of the “passenger-carrying gondolas” breaking apart from the central bar of the ride.
Tyler Jarrell, 18, of Columbus, who was heading into his senior year of high school, died in the accident. His girlfriend, 19-year-old Keziah Lewis, was seriously injured. Local Cincinnati news station WCPO reported that Jarell’s family plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
In a statement provided to HuffPost on Monday, Albert Kroon, product manager for KMG, said the company’s investigation found that “excessive corrosion on the interior of the gondola support beam dangerously reduced the beam’s wall thickness over the years.”
He added, “This finally led to the catastrophic failure of the ride during operation.”
The ride cleared inspection just hours before it malfunctioned.
Eleven Fireball rides operate within the U.S., and 43 operate around the world. KMG said any fairs featuring the Fireball should cease operation of the ride immediately pending further investigation.