Sioux Falls, SD (KSFY) A terrible malfunction on a ride at the Ohio State Fair has killed one person and injured seven others.
PHOTO: 1 dead, 7 injured after ride malfunctions at Ohio State Fair, Photo Date: 7/26/17
Cellphone video taken at the scene show the ride in motion moments before a full row of seats split apart and fell from the 40-foot structure.
As fair season begins across our region, we take a look at the measures in place to keep riders safe in South Dakota.
“It’s tough to watch something like that, you never want to see that anyplace,” Thunder Road General Manager Ryan Friez said.
“It makes us reflect on our policies every year,” W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds President & CEO Scott Wick said
Industry experts in Sioux Falls say there are many safety procedures in place to prevent this kind of malfunction.
“When it comes to the portable amusement industry, we can never put enough emphasis on safety,” Wick said.
In 2014, the South Dakota legislature passed a law requiring all traveling carnival rides to get yearly inspections.
“Anytime you have somebody coming from out of state, they may or may not be up to snuff but I certainly hope that our law has paved the way for incidents like what happened in Ohio to not happen here,” Senator Brock Greenfield of Clark said.
The Sioux Empire Fair takes those precautions even further with full inspections while the rides are being set up and throughout the duration of the fair.
“With those levels of checks and balances and the record keeping, I think people should have a very good sense of safety when they're out here that they're inspected that often. All of my grandkids will be riding the rides,” Wick said.
“Safety and your children are number one,” Friez said.
Thunder Road in Sioux Falls says along with daily operator inspections of their rides, they also do routine maintenance and thorough inspections.
“We have those inspections, we have those things and there are redundancies on many different rides to prevent that from happening,” Friez said.
State lawmakers say even with the proper safety inspections in place, there are no guarantees.
Ohio officials say the “Fire Ball” ride was inspected three or four times in the two days before the deadly malfunction.