Authorities stand near the Fire Ball amusement ride after the ride malfunctioned injuring several at the Ohio State Fair, Wednesday, July 26, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. Some of the victims were thrown from the ride when it malfunctioned Wednesday night, said Columbus Fire Battalion Chief Steve Martin. (Jim Woods/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)
Photo: Jim Woods/AP
Photo: Jim Woods/AP

Fire Ball rides closed in California after deadly Ohio State Fair accident

Officials in California shut down Fire Ball rides at a trio of state fairs and attractions after a similar ride in Ohio malfunctioned Wednesday, killing one man and injuring several others.

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The swinging, spinning Fire Ball amusement park ride malfunctioned at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus on Wednesday, the opening day of the fair. Dramatic video captured by a bystander shows the ride swinging back and forth like a pendulum and spinning in the air when it crashes into something and part of the ride flies off, throwing riders to the ground.

The cause of the malfunction is under investigation.

The accident prompted officials to close similar rides at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, the California State Fair in Sacramento and the Orange County Fair in Costa Mesa, KSBW reported.

A spokesperson for the popular Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk told KRON that its Fire Ball ride was closed Wednesday in light of the accident. It was expected to reopen Thursday, after officials are able to thoroughly inspect the ride, KSBW reported.

“We inspect the rides daily,” Boardwalk community affairs director Kris Reyes told KSBW. “The Fire Ball was inspected Wednesday morning and passed.”

Barry Schailble, an inspector with the company hired by the California State Fair, told KCRA that officials “shut down the ride immediately, unloaded it and it’s closed right now.”

On its website, Amusements of America said that since its debut in 2002, the Fire Ball, which was manufactured by KMG, had become "one of the most popular thrill rides on the AOA Midway." The company's description of the ride said it swings riders 40 feet above the midway, while spinning them at 13 revolutions per minute.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Ohio State Fair Ride Accident Kills One, Injures Six

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