Kentucky State Fair makes major changes after deadly Ohio ride malfunction

Questions over safety of state fair rides

LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- The Kentucky State Fair is making some major changes to this year's event after a ride malfunction killed a man Wednesday at the Ohio State Fair.

It happened on the fair's opening day in Columbus. A man was riding the "Fire Ball" when parts of the structure, including a full row of seats, split apart and fell.

The tragedy in Ohio is definitely on the minds of many, especially with Kentucky's State Fair less than a month away. Fair officials want to assure attendees that safety is their number one priority and that there are safety measures in place for rides.

A Kentucky Venues official said all the rides at the state fair undergo a rigorous inspection by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

Kentucky Venues said North American Midway Entertainment -- which operates the rides for the fair -- is not the same operator as the one in Ohio.

Kentucky Venues' VP of Communications, Amanda Storment, added that in light of the accident, North American Midway Entertainment is making some changes as a safety precaution.

“Our Midway ride operator has told us that they have taken all of those rides -- that type of ride, Fire Ball -- out of commission, and they're going to keep it out of commission until they hear from the manufacturer,” Storment said.
The rides will be set up a week before the fair, after which the inspectors from the State Department of Agriculture will come and inspect the rides, while also instructing fair staff on safe operations.

Storment said after the accident in Ohio, Kentucky Venues reached out to its partners just to double check, but she said there is no reason to believe there will be any safety problems at the Kentucky State Fair.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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