Sunday, August 06, 2017 05:15PM
COLUMBUS, Ohio --
The Dutch manufacturer of a thrill ride that broke apart and killed an 18-year-old man at the Ohio State Fair says excessive corrosion on a support beam led to a "catastrophic failure."
A statement on KMG's website dated Friday says the company officials visited the accident site and conducted metallurgical tests.
It says the corrosion "dangerously reduced" the thickness on the wall of the beam holding a passenger gondola on the swinging and spinning ride. The company says the ride was 18 years old.
Tyler Durrell died from blunt force trauma injuries after being tossed into the air when the Fire Ball ride broke apart July 26. Four people remained hospitalized last week, including one woman in a coma.
KMG ordered similar rides shut down worldwide after the accident.
Interior box beam corrosion (of frames) also caused a recall of nearly ALL Toyota Tacoma trucks manufactured between 1996-2004. (hundreds of thousands of trucks).
Toyota ascertained that the corrosion occurred because the Mexico manufacturer of the box-beam truck frames failed to use a required chemical bath that would have protected the interiors of the box-frames from corrosion.
In many cases, the corrosion was not seen because it had started on the *inside* of the box-frame. Causing severe thinning and weakening of the walls of the frame. And eventually, sudden total failure.
Did KMG (or their supplier) not apply proper corrosion protection to the interiors of their ride frames as well?
Subsequently, Toyota dealers were able to inspect the recalled trucks for this type of interior frame corrosion. Why weren't the ride inspectors able to do the same?
Tough to say but i can state that when you disassemble a fire ball you expose the interior of the box frame to weather and when it is inspected it is together and you cannot see inside. the inspectors have to rely on manufacturer data and non destructive testing on an annual basis to assume that these assemblies are sound and if the owner of the ride isn't looking in there during setup/teardown of the ride the corrosion can go unnoticed. i worked in the outdoor amusement business for some time in a maintenance position and these devices are run hard and setup and torn down as fast as possible and i feel this is the kind of stuff that slips by when there is no time to stop and think of things like metal fatigue and when was the last time we had a dye test or ultrasound on the welds and a good interior inspection of structure
Manufacturer says corrosion caused ride to break apart
The Associated Press
August 06, 2017 4:24 PM
Excessive corrosion on a support beam caused a "catastrophic failure" of a thrill ride at the Ohio State Fair that killed an 18-year-old man and injured seven others, the ride's Dutch manufacturer said in a statement posted Sunday on Facebook.
The statement said KMG officials traveled to the accident scene in Columbus to review video footage of the July 26 accident and conduct metallurgical tests of the beam.
"It was determined that excessive corrosion on the interior of the gondola support beam dangerously reduced the beam's wall thickness over the years," the statement said. "This finally led to a catastrophic failure of the ride during operation."
The company said the spinning and swinging ride called the Fire Ball was 18 years old.
Tyler Jarrell died of blunt force trauma injuries after being tossed 50 feet (15 meters) into the air when the ride broke apart. He was about to begin his senior year in high school and had enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps the week before he was killed.
Four of the injured remained hospitalized last week, including an 18-year-old woman in a coma, and Jarrell's 18-year-old girlfriend. Jarrell's family has hired an attorney to possibly pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.
All other rides on the fair's midway were ordered shut down the night of the accident but eventually reopened. Sunday was the fair's last day.
Video taken by a bystander of the ride in action captured a crashing sound. A section holding four riders came apart, and screams could be heard as at least two people were ejected and plunged to the ground.
KMG ordered similar rides shut down worldwide after the accident. The statement said the company is working with industry safety experts to develop an inspection protocol.
Ohio Department of Agriculture records showed passing marks on inspections for Fire Ball on about three dozen items, including possible cracks, brakes, proper assembly and installation. Michael Vartorella, Ohio's chief inspector of amusement ride safety, said the Fire Ball was inspected three or four times before the fair opened.
Amusements of America, the company that provides rides to the state fair, said its staff also had inspected the ride.