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Ohio State Fair Ride Malfunction Kills One Person, Critically Injures Others

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People watch as authorities respond near the Fire Ball ride after it part of it broke off while in motion Wednesday night at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus, Ohio. One person was killed and several were critically injured.
Justin Eckard, AP
People watch as authorities respond near the Fire Ball ride after it part of it broke off while in motion Wednesday night at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus, Ohio. One person was killed and several were critically injured.

One person was killed and seven others injured, including three critically, Wednesday evening when they were ejected from a ride at the Ohio State Fair.

Video posted online appears to show part of the Fire Ball ride detaching before people drop out of their seats to the ground. Their names have not been released.

Michael Vartorella, who is in charge of inspectors for the state Department of Agriculture which is responsible for safety checks, said the Fire Ball and all the rides had been inspected several times before being certified to operate.

Vartorella told reporters, "My grandchildren ride this equipment." He said the inspectors "don't rush" through the checks, and that the fair opened for business Wednesday without 11 rides which hadn't passed inspections. Some of them were approved during the day.

Gov. John Kasich has ordered all rides at the fair shut down until they can be inspected again.

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