Extra Steps Will Be Taken at Nebraska State Fair, After Deadly Ohio Incident
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. – An Ohio State Fair ride that broke apart killing one and seriously injuring several others is no stranger to the Nebraska State Fair and finds officials here looking at tighter safeguards.
The incident in Ohio occurred when the ride called ‘Fireball’ malfunctioned in action, killing one man and sending over a half dozen to the hospital.
“Something like this does make us re-examine the policies and procedures that we use,” says Joseph McDermott, executive director of the Nebraska State Fair.
McDermott tells News Channel Nebraska that procedures involving the ‘Fireball’ ride will likely be ramped up in the wake of the Wednesday accident. He says that their ride operator, Wade Shows Inc. out of Michigan, will be in contact with the manufacturer that makes the ‘Fireball’ ride.
“I would imagine the manufacturer of the Fireball is going to scrutinize those specifications, maybe tighten things down,” says McDermott. “I’m sure some additional steps will be taken before the Fireball, if it comes to Nebraska, will be allowed to open up here in Nebraska.”
The Nebraska fair uses a different ride operator than the one in Ohio, but the ‘Fireball’ ride has been a mainstay in Grand Island the last several years.
McDermott says the process in Nebraska is quite extensive and different than most fairs. Wade Shows Inc. inspects the rides, as do officials with the state of Nebraska, and McDermott says, the rides get additional and comprehensive exams from independent inspectors, who survey all the rides throughout the duration of the fair.
“We do take that extra step to make sure that everything is safe and again, they’re pretty much monitoring these rides throughout the run of the fair,” says McDermott.
McDermott says that there has not been a serious accident at the Nebraska State Fair involving a ride, since the 1960’s.