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Ride malfunction turns state fair deadly

Most New York residents probably would not expect a state fair to be the setting of a tragedy, but a ride malfunction at the Ohio State Fair killed one person and injured others on July 26. The fair in Columbus opened on the same day the accident happened, which put a damper on the events as fairgoers were horrified by the fatality and rides were shut down for safety inspections.

The ride that malfunctioned is called the Fire Ball, and this ride swings and spins passengers in the air. A section of the seats broke off and sent people flying. An 18-year-old man who was going to join the Marines was killed. Seven others were injured, and three of those people were in critical condition. The victims were brought to OhioHealth Grant Medical Center and Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Two people at OhioHealth been discharged by the next day, but the people taken to the other hospital were expected to be hospitalized for a week or longer.

The accident was especially unexpected because Ohio has stringent standards for rides, and 11 other rides were closed when the fair opened as they had not yet passed inspections. The Fire Ball was inspected more than once after installation by independent and state inspectors. The ride was reportedly assembled properly, and inspectors noted no cracks, excessive wear or missing bolts. Investigators are taking the ride apart to determine what happened, and similar rides in other states have been shut down as a precaution.

Those who are hurt on someone else's property could be entitled to compensation by filing a premises liability claim when injuries occur. Property owners have a duty to ensure the safety of others while on the property. When people come to enjoy an event or activity, they expect that they will be safe while taking part.

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