Fire Ball ride manufacturer says ‘excessive corrosion’ led to fatal malfunction

They also say the ride was 18 years old

The manufacturer of a ride that malfunctioned at the Ohio State Fair says years of corrosion led to the fatal accident.
Passers by look at the fire ball ride as Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers stand guard at the Ohio State Fair Thursday, July 27, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

COLUMBUS (WCMH/AP) — The manufacturer of a ride that malfunctioned at the Ohio State Fair says years of corrosion led to the fatal accident.

KMG International, a company based in the Netherlands, shared a statement on its Facebook page Sunday afternoon.

“It was determined that excessive corrosion on the interior of the gondola support beam dangerously reduced the beam’s wall thickness over the years. This finally led to the catastrophic failure of the ride during operation,” the company says in a letter dated Aug. 4.

They also say the ride was 18 years old.

An 18-year-old man was killed and seven people injured when the swinging and spinning Fire Ball ride broke apart July 26 on the state fair’s midway.

Tyler Jarrell’s burial was Tuesday. His girlfriend, 18-year-old Keziah Lewis, remains hospitalized in serious condition.
Relatives of 18-year-old Jennifer Lambert say she’s opened her eyes briefly but hasn’t woken up.

Forty-two-year-old Russell Franks is in critical condition. His niece, 36-year-old Tamica Dunlap, is in serious condition.

A co-owner of the company that provides rides at the fair in Columbus has said he’s certain the ride fell apart because of a mechanical problem. The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating the accident.

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