‘Fireball’ rides shuttered after Ohio accident
California Division of Occupational Safety and Health officials announced Thursday six “Fireball” rides in the state, including ones at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and California’s Great America in Santa Clara, have been voluntarily shut down following a deadly accident with a similar ride at the Ohio State Fair on Wednesday.
Cal/OSHA officials contacted owners of properties featuring the Fireball rides and asked them to close them after the Ohio accident left an 18-year-old man dead and seven other people injured.
Video of the Ohio accident shows riders being tossed in the air as the ride, which spins people around and swings them from side-to-side, swings through the middle of its apparatus.
In addition to the Santa Cruz and Santa Clara rides, ones at the Orange County Fair, Cal Expo State Fair in Sacramento, Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park and Belmont Park in San Diego also shut down, according to Cal/OSHA.
Officials with the agency said the Fireball rides in California will remain closed pending feedback from the ride’s manufacturers — KMG or Chance Morgan Inc./Chance Rides Inc. — and/or after a ride inspection by Cal/OSHA.
In Santa Cruz, the park voluntarily shut down its ride Wednesday in an “abundance of caution” around 8 p.m., about 90 minutes before the statewide request, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk spokesman Kris Reyes said today.
Reyes said he can’t recall any other rides at the boardwalk being shut down like this.
“Frankly, California has some of the most stringent ride regulations in the world. We just don’t have anything like that happen here,” he said.