One person was killed and seven others injured on Wednesday after a ride malfunctioned on opening day of the Ohio State Fair, one of the largest state fairs in the country.
Battalion Chief Steve Martin, a spokesman for the Columbus Fire Division, said the victims were hurled from the Fire Ball ride at 7:20 p.m. local time. One man was killed on impact, the Columbus Dispatch reported.
Ohio Governor John Kasich said at a news conference Wednesday night that “This is the worst tragedy in the history of the fair.” Kasich called for a full investigation and ordered all rides shut down until safety inspections could be made.
“It’s kind of hard to imagine you have family that goes to a state fair and those calls come, that there was a terrible accident, a terrible tragedy, and someone you love is involved,” he said.
Three of the injured were taken to OhioHealth Grant Medical Center. Two were later released with one patient in critical condition, a hospital spokesman said.
Another four were brought to Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, where Dr. David Evans told reporters that “multiple passengers were ejected at high speed, at high energy more than 20 feet or more.”
He said four patients were in intensive care, one of whom was in surgery. The victims vary in ages from teenagers to at least one in their 60s.
“We will get to the bottom of this. There will be complete transparency,” Kasich added.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) also issued a statement, saying he and his wife send their “deepest sympathies to all those who were impacted by the accident.”
We won’t be on any of those traveling fair rides EVER again. Shocking video of the malfunction can be seen below.