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Ohio State Fair attraction Fireball malfunctions, flinging people off

A ride has malfunctioned, killing one person and injuring seven others on the opening night of the Ohio State Fair. Video showed people being flung from the Fireball ride.

One person died and seven others were injured when a ride malfunctioned at an Ohio fair on Wednesday, fire authorities said.

The Ohio State Fair said it was investigating a report of an incident at one of its rides.

A video purporting to show the incident was aired by local broadcasters and widely shared on social media. It showed a section of seating breaking free from a swinging pendulum arm, sending people flying into the air. A loud, metallic crunching noise can be heard beforehand and people screaming afterward.

Columbus Battalion Chief Steve Martin said three of the injured were in critical condition after the accident on the Fireball ride.

Ohio Governor John Kasich said in a statement that he was "terribly saddened" by the incident.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to those grieving and injured," he said in a statement published on Twitter.

"I have ordered a full investigation into this incident and have ordered that all fair rides be shut down until additional safety inspections can be completed."

Fox 28 reported that one of the injured was a 13-year-old girl.

State Director of Agriculture David Daniels said at a late night news conference that all of the fair's rides had been checked several times to ensure they were set up the way the manufacturer intended.

"We started out today with 11 rides that did not open because the inspection work was not done on them," said Daniels, adding that four rides will not be operating because they do not meet the mechanical test.

Ride inspectors said the Fireball ride was inspected at a couple of different stages and was signed off Wednesday.

A company providing rides at the fair this year, Amusements of America, describes the attraction as an "aggressive thrill" ride.

Its website says that since its debut in 2002, the ride has become "one of the most popular thrill rides on the AOA Midway." 

The Ohio State Fair was due to run until August 6.

aw/bk (AP, dpa) 

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