Clare County Fair Talks Ride Safety After Deadly Ohio State Fair Accident
It passed inspection, but an Ohio State Fair ride still broke apart, throwing people into the air, killing one and injuring several others.
An 18-year-old man died and seven others were hurt.
The accident happened during one of the country’s biggest fairs, hosting hundreds of thousands of visitors.
Ohio Governor John Kasich has since ordered all of the fair rides to shut down.
In light of the deadly accident, we wanted to know what goes into ride inspections in northern Michigan.
Just how safe are you when you get onto a carnival ride?
Staff at the Clare County Fair say safety is their number one priority.
They say ride inspection is not just routine, it’s the law.
Swinging, spinning and rides that go sky-high are what the carnival is all about.
But after the disaster at the Ohio State Fair, there are extra eyes watching for danger.
"Unfortunately what happened in Ohio is truly a tragedy, and I don’t know all the details, they’ll figure that out, but unfortunately stuff like that can happen," Bob Skerbeck says.
Bob is the carnival operations manager at the Clare County Fair.
"We run daily inspections of all our equipment. We have team leaders and managers that oversee that operation," explained Bob.
He says each ride has its own inspection plan. It must be completed daily before anyone can climb on.
"It’s really ride-specific,” Bob says. “We get that both from the state and from the manufacturer. That’s where we draw our checklists from, so it’s not just something we just looked at and created."
The state also checks all rides biannually.
It’s a thorough system to prevent anything like what happened in Ohio.
"Pray for the people that got hurt or lost their life, but you gotta remember that there is a lot of moving parts and accidents do happen," Bob says. "We truly want you to have a good time."
The operations manager says state and national ride manufacturers help inspectors understand what to watch out for, making the whole process run smoother.