An Ohio State Fair tragedy has killed a Columbus man who had just enlisted in the U.S. Marines and injured seven when part of an amusement ride known as the “Fire Ball” broke off.
According to The Columbus Dispatch, the victim who died, Tyler Jarrell, 18, of Columbus, was thrown off the ride and killed on impact. A graphic and disturbing video has circulated on social media of the accident. “The victims range in age between 13 and 41 years old,” Fox 28 reported.
The victim killed in the accident has been identified as Jarrell, who recently graduated from Franklin Heights High School and enlisted in the Marines on July 22.
In a news conference, authorities said one of the surviving victims was a child and victims were thrown 20-30 feet into the air. Warning: Some of the photos are also disturbing.
You can watch the video here, but be aware that it’s very disturbing. Ohio’s governor has called the tragedy the worst accident in the history of the fair.
This is a screenshot from the video of the moment the ride broke off:
This is a screenshot a moment later. It shows that, in addition to the people in the broken off part of the ride, others fell from a different cart on it.
A few seconds apart:
Here’s the ride just seconds before it broke apart.
One woman took video of first responders helping victims.
Photos also emerged from the scene of the accident’s aftermath. “Our hearts and condolences go out to those who have been injured,” David Daniels, Ohio’s Department of Agriculture director, said in a July 26 evening news conference.
Daniels said that “the governor ordered the rides shut down until we have an opportunity with our amusement ride inspection personnel to do a complete review of all the rides that are there.”
Ohio’s Department of Agriculture is responsible for ride inspections. “We do not rush inspections. Our inspections take place and as amusement rides come in, they are checked several times while they’re being put up and each and every day,” said Daniels.
Some showed people being tended to by emergency responders.
According to The Columbus Dispatch, in addition to the man who died, five people are listed in critical condition at area hospitals and two of the victims are in stable condition.
The victims’ names have not been released, but the deceased victim is an 18-year-old man.
Rhonda Burgess told CNN that she was with her three children at the fair when the tragedy occurred.
“The ride had five riders per cart. This piece snapped off and the riders came out of the cart,” she said, according to the network. “At least two (people) flew threw the air at least 20 feet before landing on their backs on the concrete.”
According to NBC4i, “Amusements of America is the company providing rides at the State Fair this year.” The company’s website contains a description of the ride. “The Fire Ball combines swinging and spinning action all in one ride! Since it’s debut in 2002, the Fire Ball has become one of the most popular thrill rides on the AOA Midway. The Fire Ball swings riders 40′ above the midway while spinning them at 13 revolutions per minute!” the website says.
The Fire Ball is categorized as an “aggressive thrill” ride on the website. The company is located in Tennent, New Jersey, according to its website.
Battalion Chief Steve Martin told NBC4i that “one of the rows of seats on the Fire Ball ride ‘snapped off.’
Ohio Gov. John Kasich released a statement on July 26. Kasich said the Fire Ball ride was inspected “multiple times.”
“I am terribly saddened by this accident, by the loss of life and that people were injured enjoying Ohio’s fair. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those grieving and injured. I have ordered a full investigation into this incident and have ordered that all fair rides be shut down until additional safety inspections can be completed.”
At the news conference, Kasich again pledged a full investigation and said, “It’s a very tough day, very tough night for the people of our state because of the loss of our citizens. It’s kind of hard to imagine that you have family that goes to a state fair and those calls come that there was a terrible accident and terrible tragedy and somebody you love was involved.”