OC Fair, Knott’s Berry Farm Shut Down ‘Fire Ball’ After Deadly Accident In Ohio

COSTA MESA (CBSLA.com) — The Orange County Fair and Knott’s Berry Farm have voluntarily shut down a ride similar to one that malfunctioned at the Ohio State Fair with deadly results.

capture66 OC Fair, Knotts Berry Farm Shut Down Fire Ball After Deadly Accident In Ohio

The closed Fire Ball ride at the O.C. Fair (Cooper Rummell/KNX 1070)

A man was killed and seven other people were injured at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus when they were thrown Wednesday night from “The Fire Ball,” a ride that swings back and forth like a pendulum and spins in the air.

Bystanders captured video of the ride just as it broke apart and passengers were heard screaming as they were thrown to the ground.

Ohio officials say they did not know what caused the ride to break apart and that the investigation was ongoing.

A similar ride to the Fire Ball at the O.C. Fair, which goes by the name G-Force, was shut down Wednesday night as a precaution. Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park also followed suit and shut down its Fire Ball.

pcrod OC Fair, Knotts Berry Farm Shut Down Fire Ball After Deadly Accident In Ohio

Crews at the O.C. Fair were seen attending to the Fire Ball ride prior to the announced shutdown.

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, Cal/OSHA, reported Thursday that the O.C. Fair and Knott’s Berry Farm were among six California parks whose amusement ride owners voluntarily agreed to shut down the Fire Ball ride.

The others parks where the ride was shut down include Cal Expo State Fair in Sacramento, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, California’s Great America in Santa Clara and Belmont Park in San Diego.

The Fire Ball ride is manufactured by Dutch company KMG, which asked all worldwide operators of both the Fire Ball and Move-It rides to “cease operation of the ride until further notice.”

CBS 2’s Michele Gile went to the Orange County Fair Thursday and found people glad the ride was closed so that it could be further inspected.

11-year-old Hailey Hartley of Long Beach has been on the Fire Ball many times. Her dad explained to her why it wasn’t running today. She told Gile she’s rethinking riding the Fire Ball again even after it is given the all-clear.

“If they do reopen it,” she says, “I probably will be really afraid to go on it again. I get really scared (on rides) I may try it once, but probably not.”

 

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