Kentucky State Fair ride operator pulls rides after Ohio accident

The Kentucky State Fair opens in three weeks on Aug. 17 and for now, a ride similar to the Fire Ball won't be coming.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- What is an empty parking lot right now will soon be transformed into a crowd of vendors and rides with the Kentucky State Fair just weeks away from setting up at the Kentucky Fair and Expo Center. But in light of the deadly accident at the Ohio State Fair where a ride malfunction, killed one person, and left several others seriously injured, Kentucky State Fair officials are being extra cautious.

"If an incident like this happens such as Ohio, we look at what we're doing and make sure everything is double-checked, that all the boxes are checked off, that we've done everything we possibly can," Kentucky Venues Vice President of Communication Amanda Storment said.

North American Midway Entertainment, the ride operator for the Kentucky State Fair, issued a statement Thursday that states, "While North American Midway Entertainment is not the Midway provider at the Ohio State Fair, due to the tragic incident on Wednesday, July 26 we will keep all our Fire Ball rides and Freak Out rides closed until further notice from the manufacturer for precautionary safety measures. Our thoughts and prayers are with all involved."

"They're a large operation," Storment said. "They got a great safety record, so we have a lot of confidence in our partners."

While those rides may not be at the fairgrounds come August, the Kentucky Dept. of Agriculture will inspect all the rides that will be at the fair. According to department officials, crews will arrive the Monday before the fair opens and will leave the Monday following the fair's conclusion.

"You'd be surprised some of the things we see," Chad Halsey with the Dept. of Agriculture said. "An extra set of eyes doing an inspection - what happens is these carnivals, they see these rides every day and it just helps when you've got a different set of eyes like inspectors come in and take a look."

While the inspectors are only required by law to inspect the rides once, according to Halsey, the Department will be inspecting rides multiple times to ensure people stay safe.

"You know, I've got two children of my own and I tell my guys don't open it unless you'll put your own kids on it. And that's our own philosophy here," Halsey said.

Halsey said the Department is also asking for the public's help if they notice anything awry with the rides. He said people should be on the look-out for orange stickers on rides that indicate they have been inspected. Anyone with any concerns should report them to the Department of Agriculture's direct line: 502-782-9218.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment