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Manufacturer of ride that killed teen at Ohio State Fair says corrosion the cause

COLUMBUS, Ohio (UPI) — The manufacturer of a ride that malfunctioned at the Ohio State Fair and killed a teenager and injured several other people last month said the mishap was due to corrosion.

KMG International, a Dutch-based company that rents out rides to fairs around the world, said in a statement released Sunday that an internal investigation found that “excessive corrosion on the interior of the gondola support beam dangerously reduced the beam’s wall thickness over the years. This finally led to the catastrophic failure of the ride during operation.”

The ride, known commonly as the “Fire Ball” but officially coined the “Afterberner,” was 18 years old at the time of the July 26 accident.

Tyler Jarrell, 18, died and his girlfriend, 18-year-old Keziah Lewis, remains in the hospital in serious condition, reported WKBN.

Jarrell had recently enlisted in the U.S. Marines and was scheduled to begin basic training next year.

Other injured riders include Tamika Dunlap, 36; Russell Franks, 42; Jacob Andrews, 22; Jennifer Lambert, 18; and Abdihakim Hussein, 19.

CNN reported that the Afterberner ride was inspected several times before it broke apart during operation.

“It’s been looked at about three or four times over the course of two days,” Michael Vartorella, chief ride inspector for Ohio’s Division of Amusement Ride Safety, said at the time.

KMG said it will collaborate with “industry safety experts to develop an inspection protocol” to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Written by UPI Writer Ray Downs

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Manufacturer of ride that killed teen at Ohio State Fair says corrosion the cause