State Fair ride disaster

Number one bummer

Gold Member

One person is dead and a fair number are injured when the Fireball ride broke at the Ohio State Fair. Pretty bad ride design if you ask me, the bar they struck was there to keep people from running into ride area; you would think they could of had a barrier away from any possible range of motion the ride would have.

This is not a surprising event from a couple standpoints. One is these rides are put together by carnies, criminals, junkies and homeless. Go to large fairs on the day before and the last day to see what I mean. Junkies line up to get a couple bucks under the table setting rides up and taking them down. I've seen ride operators arrested and fired at the same fair for showing up intoxicated and operating rides. One guy got busted up for a murder warrant and another for exposing himself during fair.

Go to Cedar Point if you want to ride good rides and not get maimed.

General Stalin

Gold Member
Meh, planes crash more often then this kind of shit happens. I'd call it a fluke/non-issue than something worth looking through a magnifying glass about the setup and safety of carnival rides.


Gold Member
I read an expose on traveling carnival rides and the American gypsies who operate them a few years ago and that's why I never ride them and discourage everyone I know to do the same.


Gold Member
Reminds me of when I was younger around 11 years old, when we went to carnivals, he would force me to sit on the scary ass rides. There was this one boat ride that did a full 360 upside down and I was freaking outand my dad dragged me on that shit.

Crazy mofo.


I hope this doesn't get dragged into some ban all rides nonsense.

People ride rides all the time and nothing happens for years and if for once an accident occurs then it gets translated loud over all the types of media.

People ride cars too and sometimes someone gets in an accident, people die and nobody cares to report because it's rather common. That is no reason to make judgements on all cars trough. I assume mathematically the chance of getting in an accident while riding a ride is the same as driving a car or even lower.

In one matter I will be cautious trough - if I ever see a ride operated by what looks like a middle eastern migrant to me or a Muslim of any race - I will not ride that ride. Call me what you will - I will exercise that caution.

Thomas More

Amusement park rides are amazing pieces of technology.

First of all, they're very rugged. Anyone who has ever done any kind of industrial mechanical maintenance knows how common it is for motors to burn out, chains to come off, or simply for things to get out of adjustment and stop working right. So, often, you have to have automated industrial equipment adjusted to the edge of perfection, just to get it to work at all. I'm talking about things like packaging equipment in factories, which are comparable to the technology used in amusement park rides. The fact that these rides work day in and day out, and they are assembled and disassembled repeatedly, is amazing.

Secondly, they are marvels in the way they can fold up for transport on trailers, and can be extended into huge rides at the fair sites. They are the original transformers.

Thirdly, they combine every kind of technology. Hydraulics, pneumatics, electric motors with elaborate belt, gear, and driveshaft arrangements, computer control, you name it. Many are now adopting technologies from simulators and virtual reality.

Fourth, they are serious pieces of art. They have elaborate custom fiberglass showing all kinds of fanciful scenes, fancy lighting, and highly skilled and artistic fabrication of the various metal parts in the system.

I know people who have built these rides for generations. The companies that make these rides are generally small mom and pop companies, with at most a few hundred employees, and somehow they maintain all of this technical and artistic expertise within these companies.

This accident is definitely caused by operator error, but this kind of thing is very rare. I feel bad for the people that were killed and injured, but I wouldn't hesitate to let my loved ones ride one of these machines. While there are accidents, the rate of accidents vs. the number of riders is very low.

General Stalin

Gold Member
Reading RBC4M wax poetic about the beauty and allure of carnival rides brings a tear to my eye.

That said, given how relatively simple the mechanisms are for rides and how beefy they are built, I imagine tolerances are relatively low so designing, manufacturing, and disassembly/assembly isn't too terrible. Also I'd bet the fact they get broken down and put back together repeatedly likely helps their longevity. They are under constant maintenance. New grease, new belts, new chains, etc etc everything is likely inspected as it's getting taken apart/put back together.


Gold Member
Well, it doesn't matter how often that ride breaks. That Ohio State fair will most likely be shut down for a fear years and only reopened without the same level of exciting rides. Many amusement parks meet their fate this way.

I have a few rules for avoiding these types of amusement park dangers:

1. Avoid old technology and rides. The older it is, the more likely it's approaching the breaking point.

2. Anything that looks unsafe, is unsafe. Roller coasters, made with brand new metal and steel, is hardly a concern. But swinging free floating rides where people are just a few feet away from bars and other people? Way too many variables, way too easy for the smallest error to cause massive harm.

The pattern with amusement ride disasters is from older fairs that have owners "trying to relive the good ole days," pouring money into an old amusement park thinking it will pull the same crowds. Not only do people get tired of the same old rides, but the same old rides get tired as well before they fall apart in some key way no engineer was expecting.

For public safety, I don't think it unreasonable to make a law stating all rides over 25 years must be decommissioned and torn down. Rebuilt from scratch if they want it again, but the public always seeks novelty. Them making a new ride it will be better for business, and better for safety.

The Beast1

Gold Member
This ride at Cedar Point was built in 1989 using the same steel you were praising earlier Samsaeu. You telling me it's unsafe?

There's a key difference between carnie rides and stationary amusement park rides. Carnie rides pack up and go to different cities. In this case, the ride most likely was not set up correctly and the minimum wage workers for service these rides can easily forget to bolt something correctly or be unsure of how something falls apart.

Amusement parks with dedicated safety engineers will be fine. It's carnie rides that will now be looked at with a stern eye and to be honest they never looked safe to begin with.

Going strong

Gold Member
By the way, if you haven't seen it already, do watch the movie, Parker, with the (unfortunately with British accent) excellent Statham dude. In Payback, good movie also, Mel Gibson also impersonated Parker, but, it's the Statham one that is set (partly) in a fair (where also a lethal accident happens).

Parker is the original, tough red-pill gangster-hero of American thrillers, I highly recommend reading his stories. Another Parker's novel, is set entirely in a fair, where Parker, unarmed, finds himself cornered by traitorous ex partners, Slayground: best crime novel ever set in a fair!



Gold Member
Man this is the kind of morbid curiosity shit you often think about....these rides always look rickety and how often have you wondered, "What if..."

This case is pretty tragic. One second you're watching a family member have the time of their life in a moment of gleeful terror, the next moment is an actual moment of terror.

Edit, just read the article. The deceased was 18 years old. Awful.

Leonard D Neubache

Gold Member
I think the biggest crime at these carnivals by far is the way they deliberately misalign the sights on the air rifles at the duck shooting stands.

Clearly that's an issue that requires dedicated state intervention, and damn the cost.


Gold Member
They usually have the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile at state fairs.

Now you need to watch out for that thing. Google "weinermobile accident" and look how many crashes that things been through.



Gold Member
Kona said:

An ex-girlfriend of mine moved to America in the early 90's, and became obsessed with the Weinermobile. I never understood why. She was highly-intelligent. Why did she keep sending me her photos of this damn hot dog on wheels all the time?

Now, seeing that picture, I find myself thinking back to our sex life, and I suspect she was trying, in her own subtle way, to tell me that she missed me.