Tri-State fairs react to Ohio State Fair tragedy

There are fairs going on right now in the Tri-State and amusements rides are a big draw. Two fairs going on the the area, Vanderburgh and Hopkins County, do not use ‘Fireball,’ the ride involved in the Ohio State Fair incident, but Hopkins County has a similar ride and it was closed until further notice, just as a precaution.

Last night’s tragedy at the Ohio State Fair has Vanderburgh County Fair visitors thinking twice about the rides.

Hopkins County, Kentucky’s fair, is going on right now too. It’s important to know what ride companies these fairs are using and how they’re being inspected.

“We just like to enjoy them because they're only here one year,” said Cole Kifer and Kede Welte, who visit the fair every year.

Neither Vanderburgh County nor the Hopkins County Fair use Amusements of America, the company that provided the ride in the Ohio State Fair tragedy.

Hopkins uses Drew Exposition and completed an inspection this morning. Vanderburgh County uses Bradys Amusements.

“We have partnered with them for years and years they're a very reputable company and highly thought of,“ said Scott Berry, President of Vanderburgh County Fair.

Each ride must pass multiple inspections before riders can enjoy.

“Bradys Amusements does their own inspections themselves. They also have to be state inspected then before our event can go here. We actually have to have the Department of Homeland Security do their inspections as well,” said Berry.

He told us if there were any issues with a ride, it would be shut down and out of operation until further notice.

“I know they're not as safe as an amusement park because they're set up and broken down all the time,” said Melissa Winiger, mother and fair visitor.

She hopes that in the future, the guideline reports will be posted clearly for everyone to see.

“Maybe if they posted that before she rode on them and I knew they were thoroughly looked at and she was going to be safe,” said WIniger.

“The d=Department of Homeland Security looks for several things. They look for the ride itself to make sure it's at it's best. Also anything to do with electrical to make sure it's protected and they look for the permit stickers that are already on the ride," said Berry.

(This article was originally published July 27, 2017)

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