Manufacturer says to not run Fireball ride after 1 killed, 7 injured at State Fair

Manufacturer says to not run Fireball ride after 1 killed, 7 injured at State Fair
The state of Ohio does not keep track of the age of amusement park rides operated in the state. Officials said if a ride passes inspection and is granted a permit, it can operate in the state. (Source: WOIO)
Tyler Jarrell, 18, signed up for the Marines five days before he was killed. (Courtesy Facebook)
Tyler Jarrell, 18, signed up for the Marines five days before he was killed. (Courtesy Facebook)

COLUMBUS, OH (WOIO) - The manufacturer of an amusement park ride called the Fireball has asked operators not to use it until further notice.

A car detached from the ride at the Ohio State Fair Wednesday night, killing 18-year-old Tyler Jarrell and injuring seven others.

KMG, the Dutch manufacturer of the Fireball ride, issued a letter Thursday afternoon about the accident, describing it by saying that a gondola carrying passengers had detached from an arm on the ride. KMG said an investigation is ongoing, and until they have more answers they are instructing operators to not run other Fireball rides.

Jarrell, killed in the incident, was described as a "great kid," to Cleveland 19 on Thursday. He had signed up to join the Marines just four days before he was killed.

Cleveland 19 reached out to the Marines, who issued this statement:

Our heartfelt condolences go out to Poolee Tyler Jarrell's family and all of those affected by his loss. The Marines here are greatly saddened by this tragedy. We are truly proud to have known him as one of the brave few willing to step up and serve his country in the United States Marine Corps.

Jarrell, 18, enlisted with the Marines on July 21. He was scheduled to attend basic training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot in Parris Island, South Carolina in June 2018. He wanted to be in the Infantry or serve as a combat engineer.

Seven others were injured and taken to three local hospitals. Three of the victims remain in critical condition Thursday, one is in serious condition and three others have been treated and released.

All of the fair's 74 rides have been shut down and will undergo another inspection. Representatives from the fair told Cleveland 19 they expect that inspection process to go through at least Friday.

Britney Neal was in line to go on the Fireball Wednesday night right before the tragedy.

"I will not be riding any more rides for the rest of my life," said Neal.

Since the incident took place on state owned or leased land, the Ohio State Highway Patrol is in charge of the investigation.

Gov. John Kasich was on scene at the fairgrounds on Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

"I think everybody always knew is there is an element of risk to it, and what you could do is inspect and you can re-inspect and in this case have a third party inspect but if we're looking for guarantees in life they don't exist," said Kasich. "I think about those people in that hospital. I think about those people hit by debris. I think about that moment when some of them were thrown from that carriage. That's a nightmare. It's a terrible situation, but all we can do is what is humanly possible to make sure that we provide the safety and the inspections."

Anyone with information is asked to contact the OSHP at 614-799-6633.

Ohio State Fair officials won't have Thursday attendance totals until Friday afternoon. On a typical rainy Thursday they draw 40,000 to 50,000 people. They said the turnout Thursday seemed like less than normal.

They won't have a revenue impact total until the fair is over.

Typically, they see about 900,000 guests throughout the time the fair is open.

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