Santa Cruz Boardwalk closes Fireball ride following Ohio accident

- An accident involving a Fireball ride at the Ohio State Fair caused California regulators to shut down all similar rides in the state until more information comes from the manufacturer.

One person died and several others were injured when part of the Fireball ride broke apart on Wednesday night. 18-year-old Tyler Jarrell was killed. Authorities say he enlisted in the Marines just last week.

Boardwalk officials say they believe this ride's closure will be negligible on patrons, since various rides are routinely shut down for maintenance.

Matthew Rubish, a native Ohio resident says, "I can't recall any tragic story in my childhood coming out of the Ohio State Fair. It's always been a 'wow' because of its size. It's just huge".

In regards to Wednesday's accident, the ride's manufacturer, KMG-Europe, posted a letter on its Facebook page saying, "a passenger gondola detached from the supporting sweep arm".

The company ordered operators of the Fireball and Move-It amusement rides to cease operations until further notice. 

Some Boardwalk patrons KTVU spoke to say the Ohio accident has had a chilling impact on their thrill-seeking. 

Sacramento resident and Boardwalk atendee said, "You're not sure who's working them or adjusting the mechanics of it and I think it just kind of puts something in your head that you just wonder, is it safe?

Officials for the boardwalk say their 37 rides are inspected daily, weekly, monthly, and annually by staffers who do routine maintenance similar to what would be done to a car or boat.

Thursday, Cal-OSHA asked all operators of the six Fireball rides in the state to voluntarily stop operations for the time being.

 

 

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