New Jersey fair shuts down ride following Ohio deadly malfunction

Friday, July 28, 2017 05:59PM
Josh Einiger reports from Freehold.


NEW JERSEY - An "aggressive thrill ride" that is similar to the one that malfunctioned and killed a teen at the Ohio State Fair has been taken out of service at a New Jersey fair.

For 43 years, the Monmouth County Fair has wowed thousands of kids of all ages with its wholesome, high-flying family fun.

Even though for some parents, some rides are just too much.

"We are at a fair, rides that set up in a couple of days, it's not like something that's permanently around and constantly gets inspected," said Erin DeLuca, a parent.

State inspectors do check out every ride each day of the fair.

But even though it passed, Thursday night "The Wild Claw" was closed for business.

This after squeals of joy at a fair in the Midwest became screams of terror.

"We heard the metal scraping, we heard people screaming," said Julian Bellinger, an eyewitness.

An identical ride called "The Fire Ball" simply flew apart at the Ohio State Fair killing an aspiring Marine and hurting seven more.

"We're going to document all the facts, basically an autopsy on that machine, to make sure we get to the bottom of why it came apart," said Col. Paul Pride, Ohio State Police.

Not only did that particular ride have four inspectors sign off on its safety, it turns out before the Ohio fair, "The Fire Ball" was in service at the Meadowlands, where New Jersey inspectors cleared it every day.

The uncertainty of what happened, led Garden State regulators to close "The Wild Claw" for now.

"You plan and do everything you can to avoid something like that happening, and I think we do that here, we make safety paramount here," said Matt Coleman, Monmouth County Fair.

"I have faith. I have faith," said Adele Sessa, a parent. "My family, my kids, we're all blessed. I don't get nervous about stuff like that."

One of the big problems for fair organizers is that they just don't know what went wrong in Ohio, and for that reason this particular ride will stay out of service, indefinitely.

In reaction to the Ohio accident, New York State has gone even farther saying the State Department of Labor will be re-inspecting all rides managed by this company, and all rides of a similar type owned by any company.
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