Passengers Thrown Off Ohio State Fair Ride in Tragic Accident That's Every Parent's Nightmare

carnival ride accident
East Tennessee Carnivals and Fairs/Facebook

It's a scenario straight out of a scary movie: On Wednesday night, one person was killed and seven others, one as young as 13, were injured when they were thrown off a ride at the Ohio State Fair.


The fairgoers were riding the Fire Ball, a ride that spins and swings passengers in a pendulum-like motion, when witnesses say an entire row of seats suddenly flew off the ride. "It was at the highest point, and I saw someone fall off the ride," one woman told Today. "Then, a minute later, the whole, like, row of seats fell down and hit the ground."

Disturbing video of the incident was shared online, where it quickly went viral. Portions of the video can be seen here:

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Brittney Neal, a teen who was next in line to ride the Fire Ball at the time of the accident, tells Today she witnessed the entire incident and it left her completely traumatized. "The ride was going as normal, and then all of a sudden you see people flying out, and then the guy hit the emergency stop button, which then made the seat fly off and people flew off as well," she said. 

One person was killed in the accident, and at least four of the seven injured are still in the hospital. The youngest person injured was just 13 years old. In the aftermath of this incident, Ohio governor John Kasich has ordered all the rides shut down, pending further investigation.

john kasich tweet ohio state fair

According to NBC News, the Ohio State Fair is one of the largest fairs in the country, and there were no doubt hundreds of people there with their families. Just witnessing this accident would be traumatizing in itself, but it's terrifying to think about kids and teens who were on the ride and the other kids who were qeued up and waiting for their turns.

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A state fair is pretty much the definition of "family-friendly fun," and as we head into fair season, this incident likely leaves many wondering whether or not this ride was inspected and if something like this could happen where they live. The ride is still being investigated, of course, but for now it seems it was just a tragic freak accident.

Michael Vartorella, chief inspector for amusement ride safety for the Ohio Department of Agriculture, tells Today the ride was just inspected three or four times in the days leading up to the accident and no issues were noted. "We take this job very serious, and when we have a tragedy like this it hits everybody, it hits us really hard," he said. "My children, my grandchildren ride this equipment. Our guys do not rush through this stuff. We look at it, we take care of it, and we pretend it's our own."

Hopefully investigators are able to get to the bottom of what caused this horrific accident and those still in the hospital make a complete recovery.

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