Ohio State Fair attendance falls 13 percent after tragic accident

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Maker Identifies Cause In Deadly Ride Malfunction

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Attendance at the Ohio State Fair fell off by 13 percent this year after a fatal accident on the opening day led Gov. John Kasich to order all Midway rides shut down.

An estimated 801,031 people entered the gates over the 12-day fair run, compared with 921,214 in 2016. Fair officials attribute the dip to the accident, the temporary shut down of amusement rides and cool, rainy weather. This marks the lowest attendance numbers at the fair in at least eight years.

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A trooper with the Ohio Highway Patrol removes a ground spike in front of the Fire Ball ride July 27, 2017, at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus, Ohio, the day after it broke apart, killing an 18-year-old and injuring seven others.

A trooper with the Ohio Highway Patrol removes a ground spike in front of the Fire Ball ride July 27, 2017, at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus, Ohio, the day after it broke apart, killing an 18-year-old and injuring seven others.

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A trooper with the Ohio Highway Patrol removes a ground spike in front of the Fire Ball ride July 27, 2017, at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus, Ohio, the day after it broke apart, killing an 18-year-old and injuring seven others.

On July 26, the first day of the fair, the Fire Ball ride broke apart, killing 18-year-old Tyler Jarrell and injuring seven other Ohioans. The incident led Kasich to order all rides shut down until they could be re-inspected. KMG, the manufacturer of the ride, ordered it shut down worldwide and later said excessive corrosion caused a metal arm to break on the ride.

Related: Ohio not hiring inspectors as number of amusement rides increase

The Fire Ball ride passed state inspections earlier in the day and was cleared to open to the public. Likewise, records show Amusements of America, the ride and attractions vendor at the fair, performed a daily inspection and maintenance check.

Related: Maker identifies cause in deadly ride at Ohio State Fair

The Consumer Products Safety Commission, Ohio Department of Agriculture and Ohio Highway Patrol are investigating. The Jarrell family hired a law firm to investigate as well and pursue a wrongful death case.


Ohio State Fair Attendance

2017: 801,031

2016: 921,214

2015: 982,305

2014: 916,724

2013: 903,824

2012: 840,306

2011: 833,304

2010: 812,237

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