WARNING: The video below contains disturbing content.
A ride at the Ohio State Fair called “Fire Ball” broke (video above) Wednesday evening, killing one and injuring seven others, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
The victim killed in the accident has been identified as 18-year-old Tyler Jarrell, who recently graduated from Franklin Heights High School and enlisted in the Marines on July 22. Seven other victims, including two in critical condition, have also been identified. Jarrell’s girlfriend, Keziah Lewis, 19, is among the critical victims. Two other victims remain hospitalized.
Three victims being treated at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center have all undergone surgery, but will require more surgery and rehab. One victim is an adult teenager, another in their 20’s and the third is in their mid-40’s. One victim is in serious condition while the other two are in critical condition, according to NBC Columbus.
Two people were discharged from Grant Medical Center Thursday morning, according to officials. One person remains in critical condition.
You can read the State of Ohio inspection documents for the ride here. They show that inspections, including one on July 26, found nothing amiss with the ride.
One woman took video of first responders helping victims.
Another video shows the ride breaking and the aftermath:
According to the Columbus Dispatch, the man was “thrown from the ride” and killed on impact. One eyewitness told The Dispatch that “he heard a loud sound of metal cracking then looked to see two men being thrown off the ride, one of them from up high.” The cause of the ride malfunction has not yet been determined.
Another Ohio State Fair attendee, who goes by @eckardbills on Twitter, shared photos from the scene:
Authorities have released a list of the injured:
Tamika Dunap, 36, Reynoldsburg, OH
Russell Franks, 42, Columbus, OH
Keziah Lewis, 19, Columbus, OH
Jacob Andrews, 22, Pataskala, OH
Jennifer Lambert, 18, Columbus, OH
Abdihakim Hussein, 19, Columbus, OH
A 14-year-old male whose name is being withheld at request of the family
The incident took place at around 7:24 p.m., according to Police. All rides at the Fair have been shut down until they pass a new round of inspections, said Ohio Governor John Kasich at Wednesday night’s press conference.
The Fire Ball had been inspected several times, including by a third-party company, according to NBC Columbus. Ohio Department of Agriculture chief ride inspector Michael Vartorella said that the inspection process in lengthy, as the ride has several pieces to it.
The Fire Ball ride is described as an “aggressive thrill” ride on Amusements of America’s website. The ride “swings riders 40′ above the midway while spinning them at 13 revolutions per minute.” The ride holds 24 passengers in four-seat sections at the end of six spoke arms.
The ride was built by Dutch manufacturer KMG. According to the KMG website, construction of the attraction takes three to four hours with a three person crew. In the United States, the ride is commonly known as the Fire Ball. When marketed in other countries, it is called the Afterburner.
Here’s video of a 2017 inspection of the ride:
In the wake of the accident, North Carolina, California and Texas have already stopped operations of all Fire Ball rides, according to NEWS5 Cleveland.
Kasich offered prayers in a statement as a news of the tragedy spread, saying that a full investigation would be conducted.
Kasich’s full statement reads as follows:
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.
Kasich had the following to say at Wednesday night’s press conference:
This particular ride was inspected multiple times. Was also a third party inspector who he witnessed inspecting this ride. We will get to the bottom of this. We will investigate it. We will have some records for you available this evening that will show how this particular ride was inspected and release that all to you. Of course, we want to get to the bottom of this. There may be things that will be learned that can help people in other states.
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