The Fire Ball ride spins riders about 40 feet above the ground and moves like a pendulum. Based on video of the incident, the ride reportedly broke apart while it was in motion, with a row of seats appearing to snap off, sending riders flying into the air.
Ohio State Highway Patrol Superintendent Col. Paul A. Pride said one person was killed and seven others were injured.
As of Thursday, one person remains in serious condition and two others are in critical condition. ABC News shares that the deceased rider has been identified as 18-year-old Tyler Jarrell of Columbus.
Witness Julian Bellinger was waiting in line for the ride when the incident occurred.
"The people that were working it had pressed the emergency brake. And in the video you see it go up, and when it came back down, a piece had fell," he told Good Morning America, noting that he turned his head when he saw the riders fall. "I couldn't watch it."
Britney Neal was waiting in line with her sister when she witnessed the malfunction. She said she saw three riders fall and that it looked like they were making a "face before death."
"They knew they were hitting the ground," she told ABC News. "They knew they were going to die. Every time I close my eyes I can see the image."
Before the fair's opening day, around 70 rides had been inspected. Four rides failed an inspection on Monday, but the Fire Ball was given the all clear.0comments
Ohio Governor John Kasich immediately ordered an investigation into the incident and said all fair rides will be closed until they can be re-inspected.
Photo Credit: Twitter / @eckardbills