Ohio Star Fair reopening kiddie, other “low-impact” rides

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Rides at the Ohio State Fair’s Kiddieland and some elsewhere in the amusement park reopened Friday with the OK of inspectors two days after the governor shut them all down following a thrill ride malfunction that killed a teen who had recently enlisted in the Marines.

The 18-year-old man’s girlfriend was among seven other people who were injured when the Fire Ball flung riders — some still strapped in their seats — through the air Wednesday night. A few people on the midway were hit by debris.

The ride’s Dutch manufacturer has told operators of the attraction at fairs and festivals worldwide to stop using it until more is learned about what caused the malfunction. Ohio Gov. John Kasich shut down all rides for new inspections after the accident.

Agriculture Department spokesman Mark Bruce said Friday that 28 rides were cleared to resume operations Friday afternoon. Those reopened include the children’s carousel, bumper boats and other “low-impact” attractions including the Giant Slide and SkyGlider.

More than half of the fair’s rides remained closed. It runs through Aug. 6 .

Federal and state investigators have begun working to find what caused the wreck on the fair’s opening day.

Video taken by a bystander of the swinging, spinning Fire Ball ride in action captured a crashing sound. A section holding four riders came apart, and screams could be heard as at least two people were ejected and plunged toward the ground. Other riders were still in their seats as they fell.

Tyler Jarrell, of Columbus, was thrown about 50 feet (15 meters) and pronounced dead on the midway. The Marine Corps and school officials said Jarrell enlisted last week and was to begin basic training after his high school graduation next year.

“That was just this past Friday. Then he goes to the state fair and he is involved in this horrible tragedy. It’s just devastating,” said Capt. Gerard Lennon Jr., a naval science instructor in the Junior ROTC program at Jarrell’s high…

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