Ohio State Fair disaster: Cause of ride malfunction revealed

The amusement ride that broke apart at the Ohio State Fair late last month, killing a man, was due to its “excessive corrosion,” investigators concluded on Sunday.

The Fireball, an 18-year-old fairground ride created by Dutch manufacturer KMG, broke mid-ride at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus on July 26. In addition to the death of a Marine recruit, seven other people were hurt.

In a response letter from the company, Product Manager Albert Kroon said the investigation into the incident determined that the ride malfunctioned from “excessive corrosion on the interior of the gondola support beam,” which “dangerously reduced the beam’s wall thickness over the years. This finally led to the catastrophic failure of the ride during operation.”

The Fireball ride's "passenger carrying gondola detached from the supporting sweep arm of the ride also known as a KMG Afterburner," according to Kroon.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol identified Tyler Jarrell, 18, as the sole person who died during the accident. Jarrell recently enlisted in the Marines and was scheduled to attend basic training camp in June 2018.


Seven others were injured when the Fireball’s gondola detached from the rest of the ride.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich ordered all rides at the State Fair be shut down until inspections of all fair rides were completed.