Rethink how thrill rides are inspected
Apparently undetected by anyone, rust had been eating away at the inside of a steel support beam on the Fire Ball ride erected at the Ohio State Fair last month. By July 26, the rust had done its deadly work. A young man was killed and seven other people were hurt when the Fire Ball flew apart.
State officials continue to investigate what happened and why pre-operation inspections did not disclose what was wrong with the ride. But this week, the Dutch company that manufactured the machine revealed corrosion inside a steel beam was to blame.
The obvious questions are why the flaw was not detected and what both the amusement ride industry and government inspectors need to do to keep a similar tragedy from occurring in the future.
Clearly, state amusement ride inspectors throughout the country should take another look at how they do their work. Clearly, merely examining surfaces of the metal, wood, etc. used for thrill rides is not an adequate safeguard.