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Man killed when ride malfunctions at Ohio State Fair

West Virginia readers may have heard that an 18-year-old man was killed at the Ohio State Fair on July 26 when part of an amusement ride snapped off, sending riders flying into the air. Seven other people were injured in the accident.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the incident occurred on the Fire Ball ride at approximately 7:24 p.m. The ride features a massive swinging arm with rotating rows of seats attached to the bottom. A video of the accident shows seats breaking off the arm as it swings from right to left, launching people into the air. Witnesses told local media that the ride appeared to be functioning normally before that.

The accident killed an 18-year-old man from Columbus, Ohio. The accident also injured seven other riders, who ranged in age from 14 to 42. Six of them were confirmed to be from Ohio. The identity of the 14-year-old was withheld at his family's request. Ohio Gov. John Kasich said that he was "terribly saddened" by the incident and was ordering a thorough investigation. The Fire Ball and all other rides at the Ohio State Fair were closed until they were inspected by safety officials.

Amusement ride owners are required to properly inspect and maintain their rides in order to prevent accidents. Victims who are injured due to a ride's mechanical failure may have cause to pursue a premises liability lawsuit against the owners of the ride and/or the property owners. If the owners are found liable for a victim's injuries, they may be ordered to pay both monetary and non-monetary damages.

Source: NCB News, "One Dead, Several Hurt in Ohio State Fair Ride Accident", Phil Helsel, July 27, 2017

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