ALBANY, N.Y. - The New York State Department of Labor will reinspect rides managed by the same company that operated a ride that malfunctioned at the Ohio State Fair.
One person was killed in that accident, and five others were critically injured.
Amusements of America is in charge of the rides at the Ohio State Fair. According to the company's website, it is supposed to provide the rides at the upcoming Niagara County Peach Festival in Western New York.
Two On Your Side reached out Peach Festival organizers for reaction. Niagara County Peach Festival advisory chairman Jerry Wolfgang released the following statement regarding Amusements of America and the 2017 Peach Festival:
“Our hearts go out to those affected by the terrible tragedy at the Ohio State Fair. We have been in contact with officials at Amusement Rides of America and have been informed that a spokesperson for the ride vendor will be made available for media inquiries from the news media. We will forward that contact information as soon as it becomes available.
The ride attraction involved in incident at the Ohio State Fair has never been at the Niagara County Peach Festival under the Amusement Rides of America contract.The Niagara County Peach Festival has had an excellent safety record involving rides and amusements over our 59 year history. We will again take all necessary safety precautions to assure visitors and their loved ones who come to the Festival this September are safe. We are confident in the safety inspections done by New York State inspectors and that their guidelines are as stringent as any in the nation.”
A Department of Labor spokesperson said the agency will reinspect all rides managed by Amusements of America "out of an abundance of caution." The department will also reinspect all rides similar to the one that malfunctioned that are owned by any company.
Additionally, the New York State Department of Labor has asked all companies operating the same ride to voluntarily shut them down until more is known about what caused the deadly accident in Ohio.
The Columbus (Ohio) Division of Fire says a row of seats snapped off the "Fire Ball" ride. According to the Amusements of America website, "Fire Ball" debuted in 2002. It swings riders 40 feet above the midway while spinning at 13 revolutions per minute.
The New York State Department of Labor inspects rides at traveling carnivals or fairs every time the rides are set up in a new location. A ride cannot legally operate without a permit from the department.
The Department of Labor said it performed nearly 1,600 inspections on more than 9,000 amusement devices. It issued more than 2,900 orders to correct violations, according to a department spokesperson.
In 2011, New York State began making the results of safety inspections done on rides prior to operation a matter of public record.
Up until that point, the state labor department had refused to make the records from its inspections available to the public.
After 2 On Your Side brought this to his attention, Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered the agency to create a publicly accessible database on its website.