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Ohio State Fair accident


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I'm actually relieved to not see people do the usual thing here and say, "That's definitely the operator's fault. Rides are all safe!" afterwards. This is exceptionally not OK.

 

Also this is actually the second time that a KMG ride has had seats decouple and throw people at the Ohio State Fair. A KMG Remix lost a row in 2002 and threw riders into the backsplash. They were injured but lived, and this led to a re-welding of the point at where the seats joined with the arms.

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I was just reading at Loopings.nl that KMG have advised that all owners of Afterburners close their attraction until further investigations have been done. And it says that the ones located in Lightwater valley, Thorpe Park, Drievliet etc have been closed, Just an update for those wondering whats happening currently to other afterburners

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I'm actually relieved to not see people do the usual thing here and say, "That's definitely the operator's fault. Rides are all safe!" afterwards. This is exceptionally not OK.

 

Yeah, this is really a pretty unique situation. Generally when you hear about an accident on a ride (that's not a clear case of rider error) you can easily explain it away because it's usually either;

 

- Not in a developed country

- Not made by a legitimate manufacturer

- Operator error where the ride itself functioned properly or would have functioned properly if they hadn't done something stupid (Smiler / Inferno at Terra Mítica)

- A Pinfari invert in Scotland, and while they hadn't had an accident up until then... I mean, come on

- Undoubtedly terrible, but easily corrected so that it can't happen again (Texas Giant)

 

This is one of those rare ones where (unless something unexpected comes up in the investigation) it seems like the ride itself just failed in the most horrific way possible. I generally do expect carnival and fair rides to be shady and much less safe than permanent installations but I don't see how the portable nature of the ride can explain this.

 

On the surface this doesn't seem like a carnival operator forgetting to tighten a bolt, this seems like a complete and total structural failure that's almost unprecedented in the industry.

 

Obviously we don't know anything for sure until after the investigation but this one looks really bad.

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I am pretty confident if the row struck the floor it was after it left the arm. Do not forget that there has to be enough clearance for the riders legs. I do not believe the floor ever moves into a position where this is possible.

 

I am trying to count legs as the ride swings down and it appears that there are 4 people on the row before it detaches from the arm. I believe the two people flung through the air actually came from the row which detached since there are only two people in the row when it came to rest on the ground.

 

This should not be possible period. If we need more testing or this ride needs redesigned something like this should never occur again.

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That picture of the failed arm looks pretty damning. I always hope that something like this will turn out to be operator or procedural error, something that can be learned from and guaranteed not to happen again. It sounded like that might have been the case here with the mention of the operator working on or tightening something before the accident. With that picture, it looks far worse for the ride, and others like it.

 

Damn...I was supposed to finally be getting to Morey's to get on It, too.

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I don't think could be ripped off by hiting the floor. I mean, the floor would suffer more than the structurally sound swing arm.

 

From this drawing, I put the gondola in the most lower case possible (in red), and it's still only grazing the floor at most. Can you lost a leg if the floor is up while running? Perhaps.

Can a gondola be ripped of the main arm? Definitely not...

 

 

I think the gondola hit the floor and railings after being detached. So far it reminds me of the Booster accident at La Fête des Loges in 2007. A gondola was thrown out due to a welding being weak, if I remember correctly. Fabbri blamed the subcontractor, and nobody saw anything in the non-destructive tests.

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It doensn't look like a weld here, though; it looks like a solid metal arm snapped, from that picture. That could be far worse for the future of these rides, if there's any kind of engineering, material or manufacturing defect that could cause that.

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My guess is metal fatigue. Notice how there is no bending or twisting at the break point? It looks like the metal simply cracked and sheared off. If it had hit something I think you would see much more damage at the break point because the metal didn't WANT to come apart.

 

They're supposed to do non-destructive testing to check for metal fatigue. I'm mostly curious how that testing went or if it even happened.

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If the seats were torn off by hitting the floor, there would be substantially more damage to it and the leg injuries suffered by riders (which ride below the seats) would be completely outrageous. Forget broken bones; we're talking limbs and blood everywhere. There wouldn't be just one death because they probably would have bled out on the midway.

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What a horrific incident.

 

Others have alluded to it, but that's almost definitely metal fatigue. I've worked in machine shops all my adult life (around 17 years now) and while that doesn't make me an expert in metallurgy by any metric, that sure looks like material failure on a large scale. For it to not have any signs previously and then wham, that's bum steel. After the investigation is complete (if anything is released to public) I'm going to guess they find the batch used for production turns out to be the culprit.

 

Just awful, regardless.

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10 TV posted a copy of the inspection report which was filled with the state.

 

It shows visual inspection of the rides welds and NDT of 24 gondola pins.

 

Does anyone have any insight into what a normal schedule for NDT is for a ride like this? They have to test more than just the pins; metal fatigue is a known problem and I imagine there must be some regular testing of all structural components, possibly just not every time its set up?

 

I wonder if they had cut into the metal for previous repairs and welded it back up and thats what failed?

 

Anything's possible but if they'd cut it before I imagine it would have been a straighter line, and would have broken along that. That break is anything but straight.

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Looking at those pictures it doesn't appear to be a fault in the construction of the ride, as you can see the section where the seats are bolted to the arm is still intact, so to me that would suggest that the seats either did hit something with enough force to rip it off the arm, or that it was metal fatigue and it broke on its own under the pressure of the downswing.

 

Likely the bolted connection is stronger than the areas around it, much like a weld in many cases (where the weld itself is stronger than the surrounding steel being connected).

 

From the images posted (so far) it looks to be metal fatigue on that arm portion. This type of failure would actually be near impossible to spot during inspections, until it’s already too late and the crack has already formed and propagated. Compared to say poor fastener condition, which could be seen relatively easily. Unless the material itself is inspected with non-destructive methods (X-Ray, for example) before each and every assembly/teardown, which is doubtful, that seems to be the most likely cause.

 

Again, looking at the images, the gauge of the steel doesn’t look all that thick or reinforced in anyway. While the design I am sure is fine and engineered properly, when you have mobile rigs like this that may subject the parts to additional stresses, that may or may not be considered by design, it could fatigue and stress material beyond what is expected. The material starts to yield and by this point, critical failure is imminent and likely not to be seen.

 

Just my thoughts, though. I don’t see any other possibility given what we know (so far).

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Does anyone have any insight into what a normal schedule for NDT is for a ride like this? They have to test more than just the pins; metal fatigue is a known problem and I imagine there must be some regular testing of all structural components, possibly just not every time its set up?

 

I looked it up last night and the manual states that a "Level 1 or higher Non-Destructive Test (NDT) Company" is required to annually inspect for welds and joints on these attractions. You wouldn't be able to do something like Ultrasonic testing on this every time it is taken down/put up.

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The inspectors did their required jobs correctly-look at the report. No one realized that the formidable looking red/orange “beams” supporting the gondolas were actually 15 year old rusted-out bent sheet steel with the structural integrity of a cheap chocolate bunny. If they’d done the ultrasonic there they would have seen this years ago…and I imagine that’s what will happen to all similar rides going forward. This incident reminds me of the Aloha Airlines “convertible” that changed the way airframe integrity was evaluated.

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So, there are two witnesses who were the next in line for the ride who saw everything that happened:

 

http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2017/07/marysville_sisters_at_ohio_sta.html

 

Excerpt: "We saw the people coming out of the cart and then I was right next in line so I saw the buttons that the guy was hitting," she said. "And he hit the emergency stop button and as soon as he hit that the whole cart started flying off because the force was so big from the big ride."

 

So, from this, it sounds like what happened was that a harness failed, and when the operator saw people falling out of their seats, he hit the emergency stop, and the force of it caused a failure in that metal and the carriage thus fell off....

 

This is the most detailed witness report I've seen so far, and to me it makes sense...

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I am pretty confident if the row struck the floor it was after it left the arm. Do not forget that there has to be enough clearance for the riders legs. I do not believe the floor ever moves into a position where this is possible.

 

I am trying to count legs as the ride swings down and it appears that there are 4 people on the row before it detaches from the arm. I believe the two people flung through the air actually came from the row which detached since there are only two people in the row when it came to rest on the ground.

 

This should not be possible period. If we need more testing or this ride needs redesigned something like this should never occur again.

 

On the video it looks like one side of the floor had raised back up and that was what the row hit. Something had gone wrong somewhere to allow that piece of floor to raise back up while the ride was in motion.

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^^It's sort of been my experience with these types of things that it's better off completely ignoring eyewitness accounts. Generally speaking, the eyewitnesses know nothing about how these rides work so when you combine that with the panic, confusion and downright horror of the situation you rarely get much out of them.

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So, there are two witnesses who were the next in line for the ride who saw everything that happened:

 

http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2017/07/marysville_sisters_at_ohio_sta.html

 

Excerpt: "We saw the people coming out of the cart and then I was right next in line so I saw the buttons that the guy was hitting," she said. "And he hit the emergency stop button and as soon as he hit that the whole cart started flying off because the force was so big from the big ride."

 

So, from this, it sounds like what happened was that a harness failed, and when the operator saw people falling out of their seats, he hit the emergency stop, and the force of it caused a failure in that metal and the carriage thus fell off....

 

This is the most detailed witness report I've seen so far, and to me it makes sense...

 

In one way, it makes sense and would explain why people flew off (even though I think after it snapped, it can easily cause restrains failure as well). I honestly doubt that simple eyewitness could notice all this. It clearly happened quite fast, I doubt even you would notice what operator was doing if you saw people falling off the ride....

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