Ohio accident raises questions at Southport

Amusement ride malfunction brings worry for other fairs


Emma Sprague

The remix, a ride at the Indiana State Fair. The fair will last from Aug. 4 to Aug. 20.

Emma Sprague, Reporter

The fair may be seen as a place of fun and laughter, not a place of deadly accidents. On July 26, a soon-to-be marine lost his life on Fire Ball, a ride at the Ohio State Fair. This tragic event is causing some “concern” in the community of people planning to attend the fair. One question that is up in the air after the accident in Ohio is: are the rides at the state fair safe enough?

Senior Alison Matlock believes that most of the rides at fairs are somewhat safe, but not as safe as other rides, such as rides at amusement parks. After hearing about the accident, Matlock is apprehensive about riding the larger rides, and says she will most likely stick to the smaller ones.

“(The accident) brings (potential dangers) to life,” Matlock said.

Agreeing with Matlock, junior Amber Weaver is worried about the possibility of a ride malfunctioning. She says she also plans to stick with riding the smaller rides. Weaver also said that it’s quite scary seeing people doing repairs.

“Knowing that there is a possibility that (the rides) can malfunction, it’s terrifying,” Weaver said.

To ensure safety of all the riders, the Director of Public Affairs for the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, John Erickson, explained that there are certain guidelines and codes in place to help direct the operators at the ride. These expectations must be met for the ride to run. The operators at each ride are given checklists to follow, and they must be followed precisely to avoid accidents. No extra precautions are being done because of the strict safety rules that must be followed.

There are not only steps that the operators need to take, but the public attending the fairs need to address any poor conditions they see in rides. If there is a problem, the ride safety hotline is 1-888-203-5020 and their email is [email protected]