Ride Manufacturer Reveals The Cause Of Deadly Ohio State Fair Accident

Saul Bowman
August 8, 2017

The manufacturer of a ride that malfunctioned at the Ohio State Fair says years of corrosion led to the fatal accident. Almost two weeks later, the cause of the accident was revealed.

An investigation at the scene determined that "excessive corrosion on the interior of the gondola support beam dangerously reduced the beam's wall thickness over the years", KMG International, the manufacturer of the amusement park ride, said in a statement. Four others were hospitalized, including one person in a coma. Lewis is in serious condition.

Jarrell had recently enlisted in the U.S. Marines and was scheduled to begin basic training next year. The fair's last day was Sunday. Jarrell's family has hired an attorney to possibly pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.

Video footage captured by a bystander showed the ride swinging back and forth like a pendulum before a part falls off, throwing riders through the air and to the ground as it continued swinging.


Two days after the incident and government ordered shutdown, the state fair reopened "low impact" rides and its "Kiddieland".

Albert Kroon, the product manager for KMG, which makes the ride, said KMG is collaborating with other safety experts in the industry to create a better safety and inspection protocol that will keep other accidents like this from occurring, CNN reported.

The Fire Ball, sold by the company under the name Afterburner, is a mechanical ride that swings passengers up to 20 metres into the air while spinning at 15 revolutions per minute, according to the company's website.

Amusements of America, the company that provides rides to the state fair, said its staff also had inspected the ride.

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